Vice President Mike Pence has refused to self-isolate himself even after five of his aides tested positive for Covid-19, his office said.
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short is in quarantine after he tested positive on Saturday, Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the vice president, said in a statement. A senior political advisor to the vice president, Marty Obst, and at least three other aides were also Covid positive, according to NBC News.
“While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley said.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows declined to say how many individuals connected to the vice president’s office have tested positive when pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning.
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, did not answer as to how many people associated with the vice president have tested positive when questioned by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday morning.
Meadows said that he was not willing to disclose personal information “unless it’s the vice president or the president, or someone that’s very close to them where there’s people in harm’s way.”
He also said: “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”
The timing of the cluster of cases can prove to be significant in a politically challenging time just nine days before the presidential election.
President Trump was admitted to a military hospital after contracting the coronavirus earlier this month but has since boasted about recovering with ease, endangering lives by downplaying the potential severity of the virus.