WASHINGTON (NBC) — One of President Donald Trump’s personal valets, who works in the West Wing serving the president his meals among other duties, has tested positive for coronavirus, the closest the virus is known to have come to the president, said a White House official.
Since the White House medical unit was made aware of the case, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have since tested negative for the virus, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Thursday.
The White House did not say when the person developed symptoms or when the president was exposed to the individual, who Gidley described as a military official. It can sometimes take several days for the virus to appear on a test once a person has been infected.
The news was first reported by CNN.
“This guy is close” to the president throughout the day in terms of proximity, said a second source familiar with the matter. A White House official said the president was “not happy” when he was informed of the development.
Staffers who come into close contact with the president have said they are tested regularly for coronavirus, but very few aides have been seen wearing masks around the West Wing, including when Trump traveled recently to Phoenix where he said he only wore a mask for a brief period of time. Everyone entering the White House grounds has their temperature checked.
In March, a staffer for Vice President Mike Pence, who worked in the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building, tested positive for the virus. The president himself had brief contact with a Brazilian official in March who later tested positive.