White House officials wanted to keep Hope Hicks' COVID diagnosis a secret after President Donald Trump's close adviser tested positive for the disease.
The news comes as more Republican officials test positive after Hicks' news and Trump campaign staff were asked to wear masks.
Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel tested positive Wednesday after feeling sick. She often travels with the President.
After a member of her family tested positive for COVID-19, the chairwoman was tested for the virus. She received confirmation on Wednesday afternoon that she was COVID-19 positive, "said an RNC spokesman. "She's been at her Michigan home since last Saturday."
McDaniel last dated the president on Friday when he was in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. She was tested after a family member became sick.
And Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who had traveled to Cleveland with the president on Tuesday night for debate, emailed staff urging those who had contact with someone who tested positive self-quarantine.
He also encouraged staff to wear masks and said the campaign office would remain open.
"Any campaign employee who has been exposed to someone who tests positive should start self-quarantine immediately," he wrote, according to CNN, which received a copy.
“While we don't believe that someone with no symptoms needs to quarantine themselves at this point, it is up to all of us to continue to practice the smart judgment and practices that the campaign has long promoted: wearing a mask, hands wash, social distance. & # 39;
He added that the campaign's work would continue: "While some public events are being suspended, the campaign office will remain open and our nationwide team will continue our efforts to re-elect President Trump."
The White House and Trump's campaign are still grappling with news of Trump's positive COVID test, which came after his longtime aide tested positive.
Only a very small circle of people knew Hicks had tested positive and executives had hoped to keep this information private, reported Bloomberg News, which spread the news of their diagnosis.
It is unclear when and how 31-year-old Hicks became infected with the disease.
Hicks tested positive on Thursday but sees the president daily and travels with him frequently.
She joined him – and several senior White House officials – at Air Force One on Tuesday to travel to the Cleveland presidential debate, and she was with the president on Wednesday when he traveled to Minnesota.
Hicks was quarantined by others on the president's plane on the way back from Minnesota, and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday, an administrative official told the Associated Press.
But Trump continued his schedule on Thursday, traveling to and from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort to attend two campaign events. They were held behind closed doors in front of a select audience.
White House officials wanted to keep Hope Hicks' COVID diagnosis a secret after she tested positive for the disease – above, she is leaving Marine One on Wednesday
Republican National Committee chairman Ronna McDaniel tested positive Wednesday after feeling sick
Hope Hicks wears a face mask aboard Marine One in mid-September
Final photo: Donald Trump looks confused as he returns to the White House from his Marine One helicopter on Thursday afternoon, hours before revealing that he and the first lady tested positive for Covid-19. He had taken part in a fundraiser in New Jersey
Hope Hicks hours before her diagnosis: Hope Hicks, far right, is pictured boarding Marine One on Wednesday. The President was also on board alongside Stephen Miller, second from right, Jared Kushner, center. Your coronavirus diagnosis was announced the next day. You were on your way to Minnesota when this photo was taken. She felt uncomfortable on the way back
Trump then flew back to the White House later Thursday night when it was then publicly confirmed that Hicks had the virus.
Its social media director Dan Scavino and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, originally scheduled for Thursday's trip, were replaced with other staff at the last minute. These two had traveled with the president on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It wasn't until just before 1 a.m. EST on Friday that Trump confirmed he had the virus, writing, "Tonight @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will start the quarantine and recovery process immediately. We'll get through this TOGETHER! & # 39;
The executives were tested for COVID-19 daily as two people who work in the White House complex tested positive in early May, prompting the White House to step up precautionary measures. Anyone who comes in contact with the president will also be given a quick test.
Tests for White House staff increased after a military servant who was in close contact with the president contracted the virus.
That same week, Pence's press secretary Katie Miller, who is married to Trump's agent Stephen Miller, also tested positive.
It is not known why the president's test took so long, or if he was tested Wednesday night when Hicks first showed symptoms.
Trump just said he and Melania were in quarantine Thursday night, writing: & # 39; Hope Hicks, who worked so hard without even taking a little break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Dreadful! The first lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will start our quarantine process! & # 39;
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days, White House employees are considered key workers.
The CDC guidelines for exposed key workers allow them to return to work if they take precautions, including taking temperature readings before starting work, wearing a mask at all times, and practicing social distancing.
The positive test comes a month before the election and after the president has spent the year largely downplaying the virus threat.
TUESDAY: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wave before boarding Air Force One for the first presidential debate in Cleveland
THURSDAY: President Donald Trump walks from Marine One to the White House in Washington on Thursday
A timetable for the President's trip
Saturday, September 26th: President travels with Hope Hicks to a rally in Pennsylvania
Tuesday, September 29th: Hicks is aboard Air Force One with the President and Melania for the first presidential debate in Cleveland. She leaves the jet without a mask
Wednesday, September 30th: Hicks travels with Marine One and Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
It is believed that she felt bad on the way back and was quarantined on the presidential plane to get home.
Thursday October 1st: Trump is still traveling to New Jersey to raise funds
Hicks tests positive
Trump says he will wait for test results before confirming that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for COVID-19
Friday, October 2nd: A political rally in Sanford, Florida is canceled
Trump was last seen by reporters who returned to the White House on Thursday night and appeared to be in good health.
At 74 years of age and obese, he is at greater risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 205,000 people nationwide.
& # 39; Tonight @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will start the quarantine and recovery process immediately. We'll get through this TOGETHER! & # 39; Trump tweeted.
In a memorandum, the president's doctor said the president and first lady "are both fine at this point" and "plan to stay home at the White House during their recovery".
"Rest assured, I expect the president to continue to perform his duties without interruption while he recovers," he added.
The diagnosis is a heavy blow to a president who has desperately tried to convince the American public that the worst pandemic is behind them, even if cases continue to rise just weeks before the November 3 election.
And it is the most serious known public health fear a seated American president has experienced in recent history.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the first couple were in good spirits and the president had "mild" symptoms.
"You stay in a good mood, the president has mild symptoms," he told reporters at the White House on Friday morning.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) messages (t) Coronavirus (t) Donald Trump (t) Republicans