An internal government memo reveals “34 White House staffers and other contacts” have been infected by coronavirus in recent days, showing the spread of the disease has grown beyond what was previously known there.
The memo was distributed among senior FEMA leaders and dated Wednesday, reports ABC News, which obtained it. The agency is responsible for managing the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.
ABC did not report if the memo mentioned the names of those infected, but the document notes a senior adviser to the president is among the people infected. Both senior aides Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller have reported testing positive in recent days, as has Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Befor the memo, ABC News reported 24 White House aides and their contacts had caught COVID-19. It was not made clear in the documents what was meant by “other contacts.”
President Donald Trump was hospitalized over the weekend, but when he returned to the White House from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, he immediately removed his mask before entering, creating concerts that staffers and Secret Service agents could be at risk.
White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah said Tuesday precautions were being taken to curb the spread of coronavirus and insisted West Wing workers were feeling comfortable.
However, ABC reports that on Wednesday, images were emerging that showed several White House aides near each other without wearing masks.
Trump returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday while still recuperating and was briefed on coronavirus stimulus talks and the latest hurricane, spokesman Brian Morgenstern said. The president’s doctor earlier in the day said he had not shown COVID symptoms in the past 24 hours.