WASHINGTON, March 10 (Bernama) — U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows, whom President Donald Trump has named as the new White House chief of staff, has tested negative for COVID-19, Xinhua news agency quoted a spokesperson as saying on Monday.
In a statement, the spokesperson said Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, was advised this weekend that he may have come in contact with an attendee of last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), who tested positive for the virus.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Meadows received testing which came back negative,” said the statement.
“While he’s experiencing zero symptoms, under doctors’ standard precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain at home until the 14 days period expires this Wednesday.”
Trump said on Friday that Meadows will become the new White House chief of staff, replacing Mick Mulvaney, who has been working in an acting capacity since early 2019.
In addition to Meadows, several congressional lawmakers, including Congressman Dough Collins of Georgia and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, are self-quarantining because of exposure to the CPAC attendee.
Cruz’s press office said in a statement on Monday that he “has not exhibited any symptoms” of COVID-19 in the last 11 days, and “is not currently experiencing any symptoms.”
The attendee contracted the disease before the CPAC, held in National Harbor, Maryland, just south of Washington D.C., according to the American Conservative Union.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the conference, which took place on Feb. 26-29. Collins shook hands with Trump during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday.
While the White House has said there is no indication either of them “met with or were in close proximity to the attendee,” Trump ignored the shouted question about whether he has tested for COVID-19 at a press briefing Monday evening.
Pence said during the briefing that he does not know whether Trump has tested for the disease.
“I really don’t know the answer to the question, but we’ll refer that question and we will get you an answer from the White House physician very quickly,”
Pence, who leads the administration task force against COVID-19, told reporters. Pence also said that he has not been screened for COVID-19, later adding that there has been “no recommendation” that he be tested.