The list of White House employees infected with the coronavirus has been expanded to include Monday’s announcement that spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has been infected.
McEnany, 32, said in a statement on Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus this morning but had no symptoms.
Kayleigh who was a former Trump campaign spokesman who was appointed press secretary in April. She is the youngest among the president and other Republican aides in Trump’s orbit to confirm he has the coronavirus.
With a defensive tone reflecting the confusion created by the White House’s handling of the government outbreak – which has infected President Donald Trump as well, his campaign manager Bill Stepien, his senior aide Hope Hicks, former senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, and others, McEnany insists he has had no “close contact with a journalist while she was sick.
She also claimed she had having no knowledge of Hicks’ diagnosis when he spoke to the press last Thursday. He said he previously tested negative for the virus on Thursday, and Friday.
Several journalists noted on Monday that although McEnany said she did not expose the virus to anyone in the media, she was seen removing his mask this weekend to speak to reporters. ABC News reported that she did not travel with the president on Thursday to New Jersey due to her contact with Hicks, but has not yet been quarantined.
The cause of the outbreak remains unclear – and 74-year-old Trump has attended a number of large gatherings in recent weeks. However, many patients attended an event at the White House in support of Trump Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett on September 26, during which those present sat closely and many were not wearing masks.
Trump, who is regularly criticized for downplaying the virus, including jeering at wearing masks, said Friday morning that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the disease.
On Friday night, he was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be hospitalized.