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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for Covid-19

Two of McEnany's deputies also tested positive Monday.
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is the latest official to have tested positive for Covid-19, she revealed Monday morning on Twitter, adding to a swelling number positive tests after President Donald Trump contracted the virus last week.

Two of her deputies — assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt and principal assistant press secretary Chad Gilmartin, who is related to McEnany's husband — also contracted Covid-19 and are working from home, sources confirmed.

Eleven people tied to the president have contracted the virus in recent days. In addition, three Republican senators have tested positive.

Trump tested positive for the virus — which has killed more than 211,000 people in the United States — on Thursday night and was hospitalized Friday. His contraction of the disease has rattled a nation already grappling with the global pandemic.

McEnany said in a statement that her "close contacts" did not include members of the news media, although she spoke with reporters outside the White House on Sunday while not wearing a mask. She said she is experiencing no symptoms.

"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," McEnany wrote. "No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit."

McEnany added that she "definitively had no knowledge" that a fellow top White House official, Hope Hicks, had tested positive before she held a news briefing Thursday.

A senior White House official said McEnany was pulled from Trump's trip to New Jersey on Thursday but was not told why.

"With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American people remotely," McEnany said.

Responding to photos showing a maskless McEnany briefing the media Sunday, Ben Williamson, a deputy assistant to the president, tweeted that she "briefly removed her mask at the mic to answer questions, was there for two questions and only 58 seconds (would not constitute 'sustained contact' per the CDC), and was socially distanced from reporters in the area."

White House Correspondents' Association President Zeke Miller said in a statement that the organization is "not aware of additional cases among White House journalists, though we know some are awaiting test results."

"We strongly encourage our members to continue following CDC guidance on mask-wearing and distancing — especially when at the White House — and urge journalists to seek testing if they were potentially exposed," he said.

McEnany's announcement came as Trump remained in the hospital with the virus, for which his medical team said the president was placed on a steroid therapy typically used in more severe Covid-19 cases. The president tweeted that he would be leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later in the day.

Others, like first lady Melania Trump; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped prepare Trump for last week's presidential debate; and several Republican senators, are among those who have announced positive tests in the days after Hicks' diagnosis was made public.

McEnany's positive test following a series of negative results may serve as a warning to others who have been near the president or who have become infected but have yet to test positive.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to face Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in the vice presidential debate. Pence has so far tested negative, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who shared a debate stage with Trump last week, tested negative Sunday, his campaign announced.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak