US President Donald Trump speaks about COVID-19, known as coronavirus, after signing a Proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 6, 2020.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
A member of the military who is detailed to the White House has tested positive for the coronavirus, but President Donald Trump has tested negative for the virus, a spokesman said Thursday.
“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 spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
“The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health,” Gidley said.
Vice President Mike Pence was en route to visit a health-care facility in Alexandria, Virginia as the news broke.
CNN first reported that the individual who tested positive is personal valet for Trump.
The White House declined to comment on what kind of work the person does there.
A Defense Department spokesman said, “As with any other service member who tests positive, the individual will quarantine in their residence, and will receive medical care as needed.”
Trump has refused to weak a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus despite federal health guidance that suggests all Americans do so when in public and when unable to maintain a six-foot distance from other people.
According to the White House Historical Society, there are few people who work more closely, physically speaking, with the president and his family than the president’s valet.
A position that dates back to George Washington, every president has had at least one valet who helps him to dress, maintains his clothes and sees to his personal needs within the residence.
“In addition to caring for the presidential clothing, valets were personal assistants, messengers, confidants, nurses, barbers, bartenders, waiters, public relations agents, and companions. Some were considered unofficial members of the first family,” the historical society writes on its page about valets.
There are more than 1.2 million Americans who have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 73,431 people in the United States have died from Covid-19.
– Additional reporting by Amanda Macias
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.