Top adviser to Mike Pence tests positive for COVID-19

Mike Pence US Vice President Covid-19 Marc Short Chief of Staff

Marc Short, chief of staff to US Vice President Mike Pence, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Vice President's office announced in a statement, marking the second top Pence aide to test positive this week.

Several aides to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, including his chief of staff, have tested positive for coronavirus, CNN has confirmed.

"Vice-president Pence and Mrs Pence both tested negative for Covid-19 today, and remain in good health", Devin O'Malley said.

Mr Pence, who has been campaigning ahead of the 3 November election, will maintain his current schedule in consultation with White House doctors, the spokesman said.

Short's diagnosis comes weeks after President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and several aides and members of White House staff tested positive. While a spokesperson briefed on Short, the statement on others came from people described by New York Times as "not authorized to speak publicly". Top Pence political adviser Marty Obst tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week, a person familiar with the matter said. He has been reported to have advocated for an economy-first approach to the pandemic. O'Malley did not immediately respond to a question about others who had tested positive.

After a day of campaigning in Florida on Saturday, Pence was seen wearing a mask as he returned to Washington aboard Air Force Two shortly after the news of Short's diagnosis was made public.

In this file photo taken on March 16, 2018 White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short attends a briefing at the White House in Washington, DC.

Another Pence aide, communications director Katie Miller, previously tested positive for coronavirus in May. The President was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for four days and was treated with a cocktail of medicine that included an experimental antibody treatment in addition the steroid dexamethasone.

Trump, at rallies over the past two days, has insisted the country is "rounding the turn" on the virus, despite a record high number of single-day cases this past week.



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