After Trump tests positive for Covid-19, campaign shifts to ‘virtual’ mode as Pence assumes more White House duties

After Trump tests positive for Covid-19, campaign shifts to ‘virtual’ mode as Pence assumes more White House duties

“All previously announced campaign events involving the President’s participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement on Friday. While everything involving the First Family has been put on hold, other campaign events will proceed on a case-by-case basis, he added.

Trump and his wife Melania both tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday evening, after aide Hope Hicks was quarantined with the virus. There were reports of another staffer and a journalist also testing positive on Friday. Pence and his wife Karen are virus-free so far, as is the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

“He has mild symptoms,” Meadows told reporters on Friday, declining to comment on any treatment Trump might be taking. He added that the White House tweeted out the news as soon as the positive result came up, feeling it was “important to get the news out there at that time.”

Trump continues to be involved in the business of government, Meadows said, noting that the president gave him a list of tasks to be taken care of on Friday morning.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany seemed to confirm this, telling Fox News that “it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing and hearing from the president as he moves forward with his working schedule. We’re exploring a lot of ways to do that.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence took over Trump’s scheduled teleconference with governors on Friday, on the subject of Covid-19 “support to vulnerable seniors.”

Pence “remains in good health and is free to go about his normal activities,” White House physician Jesse T. Schonau said in a statement.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, who last saw Trump a week ago, also tested positive for the coronavirus. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who was at Saturday’s announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the US Supreme Court, has likewise tested positive.

Meadows told reporters that he fully expects more White House staff to test positive eventually, but that they have a “mitigation plan in place to make sure the government not only continues to move forward but the work of the American people continues to move forward.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill tested negative for the virus on Friday, allaying concerns that they might have been exposed during Tuesday’s debate somehow. After months of keeping his campaign events virtual or strictly limited due to virus concerns, Biden has just begun scheduling larger in-person events.

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