Vice President Mike Pence is not in quarantine and plans to be at the White House on Monday, a spokesman said on Sunday, despite media reports that Pence was self-isolating after a staffer tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
“Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow,” the statement added.
President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, had tested positive for the virus, a day after news that Trump’s personal valet also had tested positive.
Trump said he himself had not been in contact with the spokeswoman, who is married to White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, but that she had spent time with the vice president.
Pence has led the White House CCP virus task force for more than two months. Top officials who have gone into quarantine because of exposure to a person at the White House who tested positive for the CCP virus are Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC; and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn.
After Miller was identified as having tested positive, Trump said he was “not worried” about the CCP virus spreading in the White House. Nonetheless, officials said they were stepping up safety protocols for the complex.
The three other task force members have indicated varying plans for dealing with their exposure. None has announced testing positive for the CCP virus and, taking into account what has been described as limited exposure to the infected person, are considered at relatively low risk of infection.
Fauci’s institute said he was “taking appropriate precautions” to mitigate the risk to others while still carrying out his duties, teleworking from home but willing to go to the White House if called. Officials said both Redfield and Hahn will be self-quarantining for two weeks.
The three officials were expected to testify by videoconference before a Senate health committee on Tuesday. On Sunday night, the office of the chairman of the committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), announced that the senator would be self-quarantining in Tennessee for two weeks after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Alexander too will participate in the hearing by videoconference.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report