Pence to distance for next couple days after his press secretary tests positive for coronavirus

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KEY POINTS
  • A senior official told NBC News Pence’s precautions did not amount to self isolation because there are no restrictions on his schedule.
  • Pence will be low key for the next couple days, the official said, but that doesn’t mean anything for next week.
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Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference in the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference in the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Michael Reynolds | EPA | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will distance himself from others for the next couple days after his press secretary tested positive for coronavirus, a senior official told NBC News on Sunday.

The official said Pence’s precautions did not amount to self isolation because there are no restrictions on his schedule. Pence will be low key for the next couple days, the official said, but that doesn’t mean anything for next week.

The Associated Press, also citing an official, said Pence would indeed self isolate.

“Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine,” said Devin O’Malley, the vice president’s spokesman. “Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow.”

Pence is the latest and highest-ranking member of the White House coronavirus task force to reportedly take measures to avoid social contact after his press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus. One of President Donald Trump’s personal valets also tested positive for the virus last week.

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield and FDA Director Stephen Hahn have all gone into some form of quarantine after exposure to a White House aide with the virus.

Hahn and Redfield are going into self quarantine for two weeks and will testify before a Senate committee hearing on reopening the economy via videoconference Tuesday.

Fauci is following a “modified” quarantine in which he will work mostly from home but may go into his office while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. He still plans to attend the Tuesday Senate hearing in person, but those plans are subject to change.

Trump and Pence have come under criticism for failing to wear face masks during public events. The president did not wear a mask during a tour of a Honeywell factory that makes masks, and Pence did not wear a mask during a trip to the Mayo Clinic even though it was required.

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