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White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows Tests Positive For The Coronavirus

Mark Meadows, right, traveled with President Trump and Vice President Pence in the homestretch of the campaign, including to a rally in Traverse City, Mich. on Nov. 2.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
Mark Meadows, right, traveled with President Trump and Vice President Pence in the homestretch of the campaign, including to a rally in Traverse City, Mich. on Nov. 2.

Meadows, never far from the president's side, traveled extensively to rallies in the homestretch of the campaign and was with President Trump and his family on election night.

Mark Meadows, the chief of staff to President Trump, has tested positive for the coronavirus, multiple news organizations reported late Friday night. He is the latest person in the president's inner circle to catch the virus, which is surging across the country.

Meadows was last seen by reporters on election night, when Trump gave a defiant speech to supporters packed into the East Room of the White House. Meadows walked into the room ahead of Trump's adult children just ahead of his remarks.

A spokesman for the White House declined comment. The news comes as President Trump remains in a tight race for reelection, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden just shy of winning.

Meadows is one of many Trump White House and campaign aides to contract the virus. President Trump himself was hospitalized for COVID-19 in October. First lady Melania Trump and their son Barron also had the virus.

Cases are hitting new records across the U.S. and the country is now averaging more than 94,000 cases a day, double where it was a month ago.

Meadows, who infrequently wore face masks, traveled extensively with Trump in the late stages of his campaign as he raced across swing states. He was seen in close quarters with most of Trump's senior staff as well as with Vice President Mike Pence. He also joined Trump for an Election Day visit to Trump's campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va..

Trump has long undermined guidance even from his own administration regarding pandemic protocols, including social distancing and mask-wearing. The president continued to hold massive campaign rallies where most supporters packed close together and did not wear masks.

Biden made the coronavirus pandemic central to his campaign and his argument against Trump. In a speech Friday evening, Biden said he and running mate Kamala Harris had already begun planning for the months ahead and how to combat the virus, expecting the presidency to eventually be declared for him.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dana Farrington is a digital editor coordinating online coverage on the Washington Desk — from daily stories to visual feature projects to the weekly newsletter. She has been with the NPR Politics team since President Trump's inauguration. Before that, she was among NPR's first engagement editors, managing the homepage for NPR.org and the main social accounts. Dana has also worked as a weekend web producer and editor, and has written on a wide range of topics for NPR, including tech and women's health.
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.
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