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Several Pence Aides, Including Chief Of Staff Marc Short, Test Positive For COVID-19

Mary Papenfuss
·2 min read

At least five aides to Vice President Mike Pence have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, including his chief of staff, Marc Short.

Short tested positive on Saturday. He is quarantining and will assist in the contact tracing process, Pence’s office said in a statement.

Pence senior political adviser Marty Obst also tested positive earlier this week, The New York Times and CNN reported.

A source told the Times that three other Pence staff members have also tested positive.

Pence has headed the White House’s coronavirus task force since February.

Both the vice president and his wife, Karen Pence, tested negative for the coronavirus Saturday and again on Sunday, according to Pence’s office.

Despite the new COVID-19 cases, the vice president intends to continue his campaign schedule. He plans to travel to North Carolina on Sunday.

Even though Short is considered a close contact of Pence, “in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the vice president will maintain his schedule in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for essential personnel,” said Pence’s office. Those guidelines include careful monitoring for symptoms and wearing a mask when near people.

Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease expert at George Mason University, called Pence’s decision to continue to campaign “grossly negligent.” He “needs to be staying home 14 days,” she told The Associated Press. “Campaign events are not essential.”

Popescu called Pence’s refusal to change his schedule an “insult to everybody who has been working in public health and public health response.” She added: “I also find it really harmful and disrespectful to the people going to the rally” and those on Pence’s own staff who will travel with him.

The nation is currently experiencing a dangerous surge in coronavirus cases. America’s daily COVID-19 case count hit an all-time high of more than 83,000 on Friday.

The...

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