Pence’s Chief of Staff and Other Key Aides Test Positive for Coronavirus

WASHINGTON—Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, a campaign adviser and at least three other staffers have tested positive for Covid-19, but with just days left until Election Day, President Trump’s running mate will continue to maintain his schedule.

Mr. Pence, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, considers himself to be a close contact of Mr. Short, who tested positive on Saturday, according to a statement from Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley.

Marty Obst, Mr. Pence’s longtime political adviser, also recently tested positive, according to people familiar with the matter, and at least three additional staff in the vice president’s office have also tested positive, one person familiar with the matter said.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday morning that multiple staffers close to Mr. Pence had tested positive but didn’t identify others beyond Mr. Short by name.

“Marc Short and a couple of key staff around the vice president have come down with the coronavirus,” Mr. Meadows said on CNN. “We certainly wish them the very best.”

The vice president, who tested negative on Saturday along with his wife, has decided not to quarantine, Mr. O’Malley said. Mr. Pence consulted with White House medical staff, and will instead follow guidelines for “essential personnel.” Mr. Pence’s office declined additional comment.

Coronavirus in the White House

According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the close contact of a person infected with Covid-19 should quarantine “even if you test negative” because symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Mr. Pence is scheduled to campaign in North Carolina on Sunday and in Minnesota on Monday. Mr. Meadows said that the vice president would take extra precautions as he maintains his schedule, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

“Obviously when you have an exposure, you have to take additional mitigation factors to do that,” he said.

The announcement of the positive tests comes three weeks after President Trump and multiple members of his staff tested positive for coronavirus. Mr. Trump’s infection required a three-night stay in the hospital. He returned to the campaign trail 11 days after his initial positive test.

Katie Miller, Mr. Pence’s press secretary, tested positive for the virus in May. She has since returned to work.

The U.S. added nearly 84,000 coronavirus cases Saturday for the second-straight day. Saturday’s total of 83,718 new cases marked the second-highest single-day count after the record 83,757 infections logged Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported nearly 8.58 million infections in total, with the death toll nearing 225,000.

Write to Michael C. Bender at [email protected]

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