White House Ramps Up Effort to Contain Coronavirus After Staffers Test Positive

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence listen as Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence listen as Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National

epa08396842 Daniel O'Day (C), CEO of Gilead Sciences Inc. speaks during a meeting with US President Donald J. Trump (R) and US Vice President Mike Pence (L) at the White House, in Washington, DC, USA, 01 May 2020, after regulators allowed emergency use of the drug remdesivir made by Gilead Sciences Inc.to help patients suffering from Covid-19.

"If you can't keep it out of the White House, how are you going to keep it out of the community?" said Craig Fugate, who headed federal emergency operations for President Barack Obama and for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at the state level.

"It's not a one-sided thing, believe it or not", Trump said without elaborating.

Trump has been resistant to wearing a mask himself and has not put one on in public, though he said he tried some on backstage during a visit to a mask factory in Arizona last week.

Officials said both Redfield and Hahn will be self-quarantining for two weeks.

Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, also tested positive for the virus on Friday.

A senior administration official said that almost nine million coronavirus tests had been completed and ten million tests were expected to be finished by the end of the week.

If Trump finds herself in a situation where she is with someone in the White House who can not social distance or wear a mask, that person is tested before she makes contact within six feet. The directive apparently doesn't apply to the president. "It doesn't mean anything for next week", the senior official said.

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The government is to provide $11bn (£8.9bn) to states to meet testing goals this month. China has been taking advantage of the United States for many many years.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves on the vice president's coronavirus task force, was "in a situation with some staff" while he worked from afar, Pence told governors.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) during a press conference on Monday said, "The gist of the call was just this: and that is, encouragement to do more as far as reopening, encouragement to do more and more testing". The claim is heavily disputed.

Monday's briefing was meant to highlight the availability of COVID-19 testing as the White House seeks to convince Americans the country is safely reopening.

"I'm telling. I'm saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that", Trump replied before abruptly ending the press conference.

It was an order that applied to everyone - that is, except the president, who continued to decline the protection.

Why it matters: President Trump makes a point of not wearing a mask, and Pence, with the exception of an IN trip, has mostly followed suit - even as the White House recommends them for other Americans.

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