Three weeks after President Trump tested positive in a White House COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than two dozen people, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has just confirmed that Marc Short, a longtime Trumpworld operative who has served in a number of roles (he's currently chief of staff to VP Mike Pence), has tested positive for COVID-19, creating new COVID complications just days before Election Day.
Pence, who is also the head of the White House COVID-19 task force, is considered, per the WSJ, a "close contact" of Short. Short tested positive Saturday, along with a couple of "key aides," per Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs.
Marc Short plus a couple key aides have coronavirus, Mark Meadows says on CNN. pic.twitter.com/yWAGeIptZe— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 25, 2020
Meadows confirmed Sunday that Short, plus a couple of other key aides, have tested positive.
One of these aides appears to be Marty Obst, Pence’s longtime political adviser, also recently tested positive, according to Bloomberg, which reported Obst's diagnosis before Short's. Thought not a WH employee, Obst frequently visits the West Wing. The names of any other infected parties haven't yet been revealed.
Unsurprisingly, given that we're now in the final stretch to election day, the vice president, who tested negative on Saturday along with his wife, has decided not to quarantine. He will instead follow guidelines for "essential personnel." He's scheduled to stop in North Carolina on Sunday, and Minnesota on Monday.
Pence traveled to Tallahassee for a Saturday night campaign stop, though Short didn't accompany him.
The news comes as the US reported another 84k+ new COVID-19 cases on Saturday for the second straight day.
During Meadows briefing with reporters on Sunday morning, he insisted that VP Pence "will be wearing a mask"