Covid: White House aide tests positive as military leaders quarantine

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Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Adviser to the White House, says he tested positive for Covid

Covid-19 continues to spread under US President Donald Trump. White House adviser Stephen Miller and a senior military official are infected.

Mr Miller, who has self-isolated for five days, confirmed he contracted coronavirus on Tuesday.

U.S. General Mark Milley and other military leaders are also being quarantined after Coast Guard official Admiral Charles Ray tests positive.

Other officials isolate themselves “out of caution”.

In a statement, Mr Miller said he had “tested negative” every day through Tuesday, adding that he was now in quarantine.

His wife Katie Miller, the spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence, caught the virus back in May and later recovered.

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In July, Mr Miller’s 97-year-old grandmother, Ruth Glosser, reportedly died of complications from Covid-19.

The White House denied that the coronavirus caused Ms. Glosser’s death, saying in a statement that she “died peacefully while sleeping in old age”.

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But Mr Miller’s uncle produced a death certificate listing “respiratory arrest” and Covid-19 as a “condition leading to Ms. Glosser’s death”.

Mr Miller, who writes the President’s speeches, is known for his tough views on immigration.

What’s the latest on US military leaders?

Adm Ray, Vice-Commander of the US Coast Guard, reportedly had mild symptoms.

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Mark Milley is one of those who are in self-quarantine

While officials who attended meetings with Adm Ray last week are now being quarantined, none have tested positive or shown symptoms, the Pentagon said.

It is not known how Adm Ray got infected with the virus. The admiral attended an event at the White House about 10 days ago, but it’s not clear whether he caught the virus there or elsewhere, Associated Press officials said.

Mr Trump and other White House officials have tested positive for coronavirus in the past few days.

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The Coast Guard said in a statement that Adm Ray tested positive Monday and is now isolated at home. It added that any Coast Guard personnel who were in close contact with it would also be quarantined.

BBC partner CBS News reported that nearly all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – a panel of senior military officials who advise the U.S. President – were in quarantine after attending meetings with Adm Ray last week.

In addition to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Milley, the deputy chief of staff, the chief of staff of the army, the chief of naval operations, the chief of staff of the air force, the CyberCom commander and the chief of the space forces were in quarantine. Chief of the National Guard and Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps.

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United States Coast Guard

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The U.S. Coast Guard said Admiral Charles Ray experienced mild symptoms before testing positive for coronavirus

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters there had been “no change in the operational readiness or readiness of the US armed forces”.

“Senior military leaders are able to remain fully operational and perform their duties from an alternative location,” he said.

The Pentagon is tracking down contacts related to last week’s meetings.

Cases in the White House

Meanwhile, since President Trump tested positive last week, a number of senior Republicans and others close to him have been confirmed to have the virus.

These include First Lady Melania Trump, Aide Hope Hicks, and a number of Republican Senators.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive and announced her diagnosis on Monday. Three other press officers – Chad Gilmartin, Karoline Leavitt and Jalen Drummond – also tested positive.

Ms. McEnany spoke to unmasked journalists on Sunday but said no press representatives had been listed as close contacts by the White House medical department.

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Many of the people in Trump’s inner circle who tested positive attended a meeting in the Rose Garden of the White House on September 26th, which is being examined as a possible “super-spreader event”.

Another coronavirus case emerging from this event where the president presented his candidate for the US Supreme Court is a Christian minister from California.

Pastor Greg Laurie, who reportedly has mild symptoms, was also with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on a prayer march in central Washington DC that day.

Plexiglass will be used to separate Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris and limit the risk of Covid transmission when they compete in a debate in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday. Both candidates recently tested negative.

President Trump returned to the White House yesterday after being hospitalized with the virus.

While at Walter Reed Medical Center, he was treated with dexamethasone – a steroid drug usually given to severe and critical Covid-19 patients – and supplemental oxygen.