After news broke early on Friday, October 2 that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus—just hours after Trump attended a campaign event at his Bedminster golf club, without wearing a mask—speculation soon began that others who'd recently been near the President or First Lady (or Hope Hicks, who'd first been diagnosed on Thursday) would contract the virus.
And in short order, a growing group of Trump's associates, Republican politicians, and White House staffers have tested positive—with signs pointing to Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination in the Rose Garden, on September 26, potentially serving as a "super spreader" event.
Below, a growing list of those in Trump's circle who have tested positive for the coronavirus, after the public first learned about the President, First Lady, and Hope Hicks last week.
White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller confirmed his diagnosis on October 6. "Over the last five days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday," the White House senior aide said in a statement. "Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine."
Miller's wife, Katie Miller, is Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director; she contracted the virus in May and has since returned to work. A senior administration official told the New York Times that she was tested again on October 6 and was found not to have a new infection.
Like a handful of other Trump aides who have since tested positive, Miller helped prepare the President in advance of his September 27 debate against Joe Biden.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
On the morning of October 5, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced on Twitter that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. Seeming to preemptively address concerns about her recent conduct, including speaking to reporters without wearing a mask as recently as Sunday night, McEnany wrote, "No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit. Moreover, I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday."
Subsequently, four more staffers in the press office have tested positive: assistant press secretaries Karoline Leavitt, Chad Gilmartin, Harrison W. Fields, and Jalen Drummond.
McEnany was aboard the Air Force One flights to Trump's Minnesota events on September 30.
White House Aide Nicholas Luna
As the President's body man, Luna works in close proximity to Trump. Luna traveled with the President to the debate in Cleveland on September 29, and was aboard the Air Force One flight to Minnesota on September 30, during which Hope Hicks first began experiencing symptoms. He had been scheduled to join Trump at his Bedminster golf course for a fundraiser on October 1, but stayed behind due to his recent close contact with Hicks. Bloomberg first reported that Luna had tested positive on October 3, less than 24 hours after the President had arrived at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Former Governor Chris Christie
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed that he had tested positive for the virus on October 3. Christie had helped Trump prepare for his September 29 debate, spending time close to the President in the days prior. He also attended Barrett's now-infamous Rose Garden event on September 26. Christie reportedly wasn't warned of his possible exposure, only learning of Trump's diagnosis from news reports.
Later on October 3, Christie tweeted that he was checking himself into the hospital. "While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure," he wrote.
In consultation with my doctors, I checked myself into Morristown Medical Center this afternoon. While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 3, 2020
Former White House Advisor Kellyanne Conway
Conway's teen daughter, Claudia Conway, first broke the news in a TikTok video on October 2; Kellyanne confirmed her positive test soon after on Twitter. "Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine," she wrote. "I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians."
Conway, like Christie, was among the advisors who helped prepare Trump for the September 29 debate. She also was present at the Barrett Rose Garden event.
Tonight I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians.
As always, my heart is with everyone affected by this global pandemic. ❤️
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 3, 2020
Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien
Stepien tested positive for the coronavirus on October 2. Per Politico, which first reported the news, he was experiencing "mild flu-like symptoms" as of that evening.
Stepien was also among the group that traveled to and from the September 29 debate aboard Air Force One, and one of the advisers that helped Trump prepare in advance of the debate.
Senator Thom Tillis
Senator Tillis of North Carolina announced on October 2 that he had tested positive, but was asymptomatic. In subsequent updates on Twitter, Tillis said that he was experiencing "mild symptoms but no fever," but by October 4, his "only lingering symptom is the loss of my sense of taste and smell."
Tillis was present at Barrett's Rose Garden event the previous week. The day before he revealed his diagnosis, Tillis took part in a debate against the Democratic candidate running to unseat him in the Senate.
Senator Mike Lee
Lee, a Senator from Utah, revealed on the morning of October 2 that he had tested positive. On Twitter, he announced that he began experiencing symptoms the day before, and tested positive thereafter. He added that he will isolate himself for 10 days.
The Senator had attended Barrett's Rose Garden nomination event the week before.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel
McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, tested positive for the coronavirus on September 30, though an RNC spokesperson only confirmed her diagnosis on October 2. "After a member of her family tested positive for COVID-19, the Chairwoman was tested for the virus," Mike Reed, the RNC’s deputy chief of staff for communications, told Politico in a statement. "On Wednesday afternoon, she got confirmation she was COVID-19 positive."
Per Politico, McDaniel last saw the President at events on September 24 and 25, and tested negative before attending both. Reed added that she'd "been at her home in Michigan" since September 26.
Notre Dame University President John Jenkins
Reverend John Jenkins announced that he had tested positive on October 2, after attending Barrett's nomination ceremony on September 26. He had been criticized for shaking hands with other guests and not wearing a mask at the event, prompting an apology and a decision to quarantine. "I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden," he wrote in a letter to students on September 28, adding, " In an abundance of caution, I have decided also to quarantine in accordance with University protocols."
On the afternoon of October 2, Jenkins said that he had tested positive during his quarantine. "My symptoms are mild and I will continue work from home," he said in a press release, per CNN. "The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.
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