Tag: aides

Pence travel questioned after aides test positive

Trump administration and campaign officials faced questioning on Sunday about Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session MORE’s planned travel in the upcoming week after reports revealed two of his top aides tested positive for COVID-19.

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsSenate Health Committee chair asks Cuomo, Newsom to ‘stop second guessing’ FDA on vaccine efficacy Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day Trump hasn’t asked Barr to open investigation into Bidens, McEnany says MORE defended Pence’s campaign travel on CNN’s “State of the Union,” promoting the administration’s argument that Pence serves as an essential worker and is allowed to continue campaigning in person. 

“As we look at that, essential personnel, whether it’s the vice president of the United States or anyone else, has to continue on,” Meadows said after host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperNY Times slammed for glowing Farrakhan op-ed: ‘You would think he was a gentleman’ Democrats condemn Trump’s rhetoric against Michigan governor as allies defend rally Illinois governor blames Trump’s allies for state’s wrong direction on coronavirus MORE pressed him on how campaigning classified as essential work. 

Meadows declined to say how many people in the vice president’s office have contracted coronavirus, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that “we don’t give out that kind of information.” 

The chief of staff stressed that Pence is “wearing a mask, socially distancing and when he goes up to speak he will take the mask off, put it back on.” The vice president was not wearing a mask while speaking at a rally in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday.

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and adviser Marty Obst both tested positive for COVID-19, but the vice president himself has tested negative for the virus twice.

Trump campaign adviser Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiSunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day Senate needs to confirm Judge Barrett before Election Day  The Memo: Biden landslide creeps into view MORE on Sunday also stood by Pence’s campaigning, noting on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump knocks idea of a ‘female socialist president’ Sanders hits back at Trump’s attack on ‘socialized medicine’ Watch live: Biden participates in HBCU homecoming MORE (D-Calif.) the Democratic vice presidential nominee, continued her campaign after a staffer tested positive. 

“I’m sure he’ll do what’s necessary and what’s appropriate,” Lewandowski said, referring to Pence. “And look, we’ve also seen Kamala Harris’s team — members of her team come down with COVID and she took the necessary precautions.”

Harris’s communications director, Liz Allen, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, prompting the senator to cancel some planned travel to Oct. 18. But 

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Pence’s top aides have COVID; he’ll keep up travel schedule

Vice President Mike Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week, the White House says, despite an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus among his senior aides.

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and “a couple of key staff surrounding the vice president” have tested positive for the virus, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.

The vice president, who along with his wife, Karen, tested negative on Sunday, according to his office, is considered a “close contact” of the aides under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria but will not quarantine, his spokesman said.

Devin O’Malley said Pence decided to maintain his travel schedule “in consultation with the White House Medical Unit” and “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.” Those guidelines require that essential workers exposed to someone with the coronavirus closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and wear a mask whenever around other people.

O’Malley said Pence and his wife both tested negative on Saturday “and remain in good health.”

President Trump commented on Short early Sunday after his plane landed at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington. “I did hear about it just now,” he said. “And I think he’s quarantining. Yeah. I did hear about it. He’s going to be fine. But he’s quarantining.”

Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University, called Pence’s decision to travel “grossly negligent” regardless of the stated justification that Pence was an essential worker.

“It’s just an insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response,” she said. “I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to the people going to the rally” and the people on Pence’s own staff who will accompany him.

“He needs to be staying home 14 days,” she added. “Campaign events are not essential.”

After a day of campaigning in Florida on Saturday, Pence was seen wearing a mask as he returned to Washington aboard Air Force Two shortly after the news of Short’s diagnosis was made public. He is scheduled to hold a rally on Sunday afternoon in Kinston, N.C.

Pence, who has headed the White House coronavirus task force since late February, has repeatedly found himself in an uncomfortable position balancing political concerns with the administration’s handling the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans. The vice president has advocated mask-wearing and social distancing, but often does not wear one himself and holds large political events where many people do not wear face coverings.

By virtue of his position as vice president, Pence is considered an essential worker. The White House did not address how Pence’s political activities amounted to essential work.

Short’s diagnosis came just weeks after the coronavirus spread through the White House, infecting Trump, the first lady, and two dozen other aides, staffers and allies.

Short, Pence’s top aide and one of his closest confidants, did not travel with the vice president on Saturday. Top Pence political advisor Marty Obst tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this

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Pence to keep up travel despite contact with infected aides

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 file photo, Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, speaks with reporters at the White House in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence will maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week the White House said Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 despite his exposure to Marc Short, his chief of staff who tested positive for the coronavirus.

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2019 file photo, Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, speaks with reporters at the White House in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence will maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week the White House said Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 despite his exposure to Marc Short, his chief of staff who tested positive for the coronavirus.

AP

Vice President Mike Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus among his senior aides, the White House says.

Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and “a couple of key staff surrounding the vice president” have tested positive for the virus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.

The vice president, who along with his wife, Karen, tested negative on Sunday, according to his office, is considered a “close contact” of the aides under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria but will not quarantine, his spokesman said.

Devin O’Malley said Pence decided to maintain his travel schedule “in consultation with the White House Medical Unit” and “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.” Those guidelines require that essential workers exposed to someone with the coronavirus closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and wear a mask whenever around other people.

O’Malley said Pence and his wife, Karen, both tested negative on Saturday “and remain in good health.”

President Donald Trump commented on Short early Sunday after his plane landed at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington. “I did hear about it just now,” he said. “And I think he’s quarantining. Yeah. I did hear about it. He’s going to be fine. But he’s quarantining.”

Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University, called Pence’s decision to travel “grossly negligent” regardless of the stated justification that Pence is an essential worker.

“It’s just an insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response,” she said. “I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to the people going to the rally” and the people on Pence’s own staff who will accompany him.

“He needs to be staying home 14 days,” she added. “Campaign events are not essential.”

After a day of campaigning in Florida on Saturday, Pence was seen wearing a mask as he returned to Washington aboard Air Force Two shortly after the news of Short’s diagnosis was made public. He is scheduled to hold a rally on Sunday afternoon in Kinston, NC.

Pence, who has headed the White House coronavirus task force since late February, has repeatedly found himself in an uncomfortable position balancing political concerns with the administration’s handling the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans. The vice president has advocated mask-wearing and social distancing, but often does not wear one himself and holds large political events where many people do not wear face-coverings.

By virtue of his position as vice president, Pence is considered an essential worker. The

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