WASHINGTON. — A growing number of White House staff and senior Republicans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since President Donald Trump revealed he had contracted the disease.
The infections have roiled campaigning for the November 3 presidential election, rattled financial markets and slowed the work of Congress, with the Senate vowing to delay any votes now that three members of the Republican majority have tested positive.
Some staff have expressed concern to US media that they were exposed without their knowledge to people who were known to be infected or were at risk of being Covid-positive.
Leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi said the White House was “one of the most dangerous places in the country”, adding she would “not go anywhere near it”.
Stephen Miller was the latest aide to test positive – on Tuesday. Covid has also laid low Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and at least three other press staff.
Trump himself remains in defiant mood. He has reportedly angled for an address to the nation, a return to work at the Oval Office and a resumption of campaign activity.
There were conflicting reports yesterday about whether Mr Trump had already gone back to the Oval Office. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the president had made such a visit but other officials said this was not true.
The president sent out a huge flurry of tweets yesterday on a wide range of subjects.
In his latest insult about his challenger, he said Joe Biden was “a wacko for years, and everyone knows it. Notice how all of the bad things, like his very low IQ, are no longer reported? Fake News!”
White House spokesman Ben Williamson said safety preparations were still under way for that move.
Several senior military leaders are also quarantining after Coast Guard official Admiral Charles Ray tested positive.
He also said Democrats wanted to “shut churches down permanently”.
Biden sent out a tweet saying that as president he would “implement nationwide mask mandates, ensure access to regular, reliable and free testing, and accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines”. — BBCWorld.