A US Navy officer who serves as President Donald Trump’s personal valet tested positive for COVID-19.
The news raises questions about the possibility that the President has been exposed to the coronavirus.
Trump was tested by the White House physician afterwards and came back negative, although he remains upset about the news.
The White House press secretary Hogan Gidley confirmed the news in a statement.
“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,” Gidley said, “The President and the Vice President have since tested negative for the virus and they remain in great health.”
The valets are members of an elite military unit assigned to the White House and almost always close to the President and the first family.
They responsibilities include assisting the President and the first family with a variety of personal tasks, such as travelling with the President when he is on the road of out of the country.
Previous presidents were dependent on them, not just for their assistance but as confidants as well.
According to a source from the White House, the said valet, a man, exhibited symptoms since Wednesday morning, and that the news was “hitting a fan” in the West Wing.
President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior staffers are continuously being tested for coronavirus every week, using the rapid Abbott Labs test that provides results in more or less 15 minutes.
However, the White House has not enforced strict social distancing guidelines among their staff, and only a handful of people inside the building wear masks during the day, valets included.
Trump has always been confident about not getting infected by the virus, since the people who are usually are tested regularly.
“The test result comes back in five minutes, and we have great testing. Or they wouldn’t be allowed to travel with me,” he said. “It’s not my choice; it’s a very strong group of people that want to make sure they are tested, including Secret Service.”