All the People in the White House Orbit Who Have Tested Positive

The coronavirus has hit a growing number of figures in President Donald Trump’s White House orbit, with potential links to recent campaign events, the first presidential debate, and the Rose Garden nomination ceremony of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition to President Trump and First lady Melania, other people to test positive for COVID-19 include White House adviser Hope Hicks, campaign manager Bill Stepien, and RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Most of them have reported mild to no symptoms.

The origins of the infections are murky and could remain that way. But as the New York Times has noted, many of the names attended the same events with the president as he criss-crossed several states in recent days. The first potential site of transmission may have been a September 25 fundraiser at Trump International Hotel in Washington attended by the president and McDaniel.

Other potential spreader events include a September 26 White House meeting with Amy Coney Barrett, attended by several people including Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Lee (R-UT), and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — all three of whom have since tested positive for COVID-19.

The Rose Garden nomination ceremony for Barrett on the same day may also have led to the spreading of the virus. The ceremony was attended by former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and University of Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins,  both of whom also have the virus. Several members of the White House press corps have also contracted the virus.

The following is a list of the figures in the White House orbit who have so far tested positive COVID-19 since Thursday, listed in order of public disclosure or the first public report.

Hope Hicks, adviser to the president

The president tweeted late Thursday that his adviser had tested positive for the virus, following reports earlier in the day that broke the news.

President Donald Trump and First lady Melania

The president confirmed shortly thereafter that he and the first lady had just tested positive and were beginning the quarantine process.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

The Republican senator from Utah announced Friday morning that he got tested Thursday after experiencing symptoms “consistent with longtime allergies.” The test came back positive. “I will remain isolated for the next 10 days,” he said.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)

The Republican senator from North Carolina announced Friday evening that his COVID-19 test came back positive. “Thankfully, I have no symptoms and feel well,” he said.

Kellyanne Conway, former special adviser to the president

The former White House staffer announced late Friday that she tested positive and was experiencing “mild” symptoms that included a light cough. “I’m feeling fine,” she tweeted. “I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians.”

Bill Stepien, campaign manager for President Trump

Stepien hasn’t publicly confirmed that he tested positive for the coronavirus. However, Politico reported Friday that he received his diagnosis Friday evening and “was experiencing what one senior campaign official described as ‘mild flu-like symptoms.’”

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the RNC

McDaniel also hasn’t publicly confirmed that she has the virus. The New York Times reported Friday that she tested positive.

Rev. John Jenkins, University of Notre Dame president

The university confirmed Friday that its president has the coronavirus. “My symptoms are mild and I will continue to work from home,” Jenkins said. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”

Chris Christie (R), former governor of New Jersey

Christie tweeted Saturday morning that he is positive for COVID-19. He later tweeted that “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.”

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at [email protected]

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