A member of the military serving as one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s valets has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House said Thursday. It said Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence have since tested negative and “remain in good health.”
It marked the latest coronavirus scare for the president, and the first known instance where a person who has come in close proximity to the president has tested positive since several people present at his private Florida club were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March. The valet tested positive on Wednesday, the White House said.
“We were recently notified by the White House Medical Unit that a member of the United States Military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus,” White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
A person familiar with the matter said the member of the military who tested positive was one of the president’s valets. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Trump told reporters that he was tested Wednesday and again Thursday. “I’ve had very little personal contact with this gentleman,” Trump said of the valet.
The White House instituted safety protocols nearly two months ago, including frequent temperature checks. Last month, it began administering rapid COVID-19 tests to all those in close proximity to the president, with staffers being tested about once a week.
Trump said that some staffers who interact with him closely would now be tested daily. Pence told reporters that both he and Trump would now be tested daily as well.
Several valets cater to the president and his guests at the White House, both in the West Wing and in the White House residence.