Trump will ‘keep his distance’ from Pence when VP returns to West Wing today during coronavirus outbreak – The Sun
DONALD Trump will reportedly be keeping his distance from Mike Pence when the vice president returns to the White House on Tuesday amid coronavirus fears.
A senior aide confirmed Pence would be steering clear of the president after his press secretary Katie Miller was diagnosed with COVID-19, reports say.
The VP will be “maintaining distance” from Trump “for the immediate future" as he makes his West Wing return today, according to CNN journalist Shimon Prokupecz.
Pence is set to head up a closed meeting this afternoon at 2.30 pm with his Coronavirus Task Force fellow members, according to the daily guidance schedule issued to the media.
Government officials are now scrambling to mitigate the spread of the deadly bug at Pennsylvania Avenue after Miller – who is married to top Trump aide Stephen Miller – tested positive.
It's been reported that germaphobe Trump is particularly "spooked" by the contagion and increasingly isolated in the Oval Office as more officials quarantine.
A White House memo was sent ordering officials to wear a mask or face covering inside the building, and only visit the West Wing if they "absolutely need to," reports the Washington Post.
It also stated that staff should only remove their mask when at their own desk – but it hasn't been confirmed that Trump and Pence would wear one.
"I’m hearing on good authority that #coronavirus is more rampant in the #WhiteHouse than the public is being told," correspondent April Ryan tweeted.
“A very high-ranking individual may have also been impacted!”
The news comes after members of the president's COVID-19 task force, including Dr Anthony Fauci, are currently in isolation after coming into contact with an infected White House aide.
CDC director Dr Robert Redfield and FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn are also quarantining.
Fauci, Redfield, and Hahn are due to testify at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today and will be permitted to do so via video link — a one-off exception to the administration’s policies.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, the Republican chair of this committee, will do the same from his 14-day quarantine after a staff member in his office was COVID-positive.
Additionally, Ivanka Trump's assistant was also diagnosed with the highly contagious virus.
The news comes as Fauci told the former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders "the numbers of deaths are very likely higher" than the current US death toll of 81,000 on Tuesday.
As Pence gets back to business, Trump fumed over how "crazy" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would run the country if he and Pence were struck down by the deadly disease.
Trump said they "must be very careful" after a journalist wrote that Pelosi would serve the country if they became ill.
Trump responded to the reporter's tweet which said: "Pelosi would be third in line to serve as president if Trump, Pence become incapacitated by COVID-19."
"Then we must be very careful," Trump raged. "Crazy Nancy would be a total disaster, and the USA will never be a Communist Country!"
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