By: Nathaniel Ballantyne
As the nation records its highest number of Covid-19 infections, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has reportedly been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Two senior administration officials confirmed Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition. Bloomberg News first reported his diagnosis. One administration official said several other staffers had tested positive as well.
Meadows traveled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count. He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.
It marked the latest case of the virus in the West Wing, coming not even two weeks after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, and other aides tests positive for the virus. Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October. The positive tests came after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face-masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Trump has repeatedly said that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, which was top of mind for voters in Tuesday’s election.
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have increased by more than 50% in the past two weeks. According to an AP analysis of data from John Hopkins University, the 7-day rolling average for daily new cases rose from 61,166 on Oct. 22 to 94,625 on Nov. 5.