Donald Trump’s National Security adviser has coronavirus, the White House announced Monday, making him the most high profile administration individual, with close proximity to the president, to test positive for it.
‘National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for COVID-19,’ the White House said in a statement.
‘He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,’ it continued, adding that National Security Council operations and work ‘continues uninterrupted.’
It is not immediately clear how much contact O’Brien has had with Trump recently, but the White House statement assured: ‘There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.’
O’Brien contracted COVID-19 while attending a family event, people familiar with his situation told Bloomberg, and has been out of the office since late last week.
During isolation, O’Brien has still been running the National Security Council remotely, and one person said he has been doing most of his work over the phone.
The president’s adviser also recently returned from Europe, where he met with officials from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.
News of the infection comes as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has surpassed 4.2 million as of Monday morning and there are nearly 147,000 deaths.
Vice President Mike Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and his father’s campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle also tested positive for coronavirus in May and July respectively.
Also in May, an unidentified personal valet to the president was infected.
Miller and the valet’s positive tests earlier this year led to concern within the White House that others could be infected, leading several officials and aides to self-quarantine – including the nation’s top immunologist and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Anthony Fauci.
But O’Brien’s diagnosis this month makes him the most senior White House official to contract coronavirus.
Following the president’s first post-coronavirus rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month, several campaign staffers contracted the disease.
All staff who attended the June rally were required to get tested for coronavirus after eight campaign aides who were there obtained positive test results.