One of Vice President Mike Pence’s closest political advisers, Marty Obst, tested positive for coronavirus infection this week, according to three people familiar with the matter, adding to the number of cases in and around the White House.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Obst developed symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Obst tested positive on Wednesday, two of the people said. He was quiet on Twitter that day, with just one retweet, but has since been active on the social media platform, posting criticism of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
While he’s not a government employee, Obst is frequently in contact with Pence and his staff and visits the White House grounds.
Obst and spokespeople for Pence didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The coronavirus has swept the White House since September, infecting President Donald Trump, his wife and youngest son, and a number of top aides, including his campaign manager, his press secretary, and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.The outbreak has served as a punctuation mark on Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which polls show has been widely panned by voters.
Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller contracted Covid-19 in May. Pence himself has so far escaped infection.
The virus has infected about 8.6 million Americans so far and more than 225,000 have died. The US is in the midst of yet another surge of infections, with new cases exceeding 83,000 on Friday, a record.
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