White House takes extra precautions to protect President Trump, staff from COVID-19
WASHINGTON - As the threat of novel coronavirus makes its way to the West Wing, the White House is stepping up its precautions against the spread of the virus.
According to CNN, Vice President Mike Pence is taking some precautions, but stopping short of the recommended self-quarantine in the wake of his press secretary testing positive for coronavirus.
After consulting with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President is "maintaining distance for the immediate future" from President Trump. At this time, it is unknown how long the two will remain physically distanced.
On Monday, Mr. Trump said he hasn't seen Pence since Miller tested positive on Friday, a fact that was underscored by the vice president's absence from the President's news conference on Monday. Mr. Trump said he could confer with the Pence by telephone.
Pence said during a call with governors on Monday that he was taking extra precautions, noting that he was "in a separate room on my own" during a videoconference while Dr. Deborah Birx was "in a situation room with some staff," according to audio of the call obtained by CNN's Betsy Klein.
Despite this assurance, it's been noted that the Vice President has gone to the White House without wearing a mask.
In fact, some assert that his very presence in the White House-- even if he is staying away from Mr. Trump -- contravenes guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises those who have had "close contact" (within six feet of someone for a prolonged period of time) with someone who has tested positive to stay home for 14 days after their last interaction.
Officials have said the President and others inside the White House remain sensitive to taking steps that might undercut their message that the virus is waning and the country is ready to reopen.
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