White House has confirmed a second coronavirus case among West Wing staff, this time in VP Mike Pence’s office. President Trump addresses concerns.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander will self-quarantine for 14 days after a member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The 79-year-old Republican is doing well and has no symptoms of the respiratory illness, according to a Sunday night statement from his office. He also tested negative for COVID-19 last week.
Because of his age, Alexander is among older adults who are considered at high risk for the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 80,000 Americans and more than 280,000 worldwide.
“After discussing this with the Senate’s attending physician, Senator Alexander, out of an abundance of caution, has decided not to return to Washington, D.C., and will self-quarantine in Tennessee for 14 days,” said David Clear, Alexander’s chief of staff, in the statement.
Little information has been released about the staffer who tested positive, but the senator’s office said that person is recovering and doing well.
Alexander will continue to oversee the Senate health committee hearing during his self-quarantine.
The news of the senator’s self-quarantine comes days after Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for COVID-19. The White House denied reports Sunday that Pence was self-isolating.
Also Sunday, the White House announced a series of additional precautions to ensure the safety of the president and his staff after two administration aides tested positive for the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump and Pence will be tested daily for the virus, as will every staff member in close proximity to them. White House guests will be tested, workspaces will undergo regular deep cleaning, and staff will follow social distancing guidelines, undergo daily temperature checks and have their symptom histories reviewed, White House spokesman Judd Deere said Sunday.
A Navy valet who had been in the same room with Trump on Tuesday tested positive last week for the virus.
Contributing: Michael Collins and Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
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