The White House confirmed that Robert O’Brien tested positive for the CCP Virus.
A White House official confirmed to Fox News that the national security adviser contracted the CCP Virus, becoming the highest-ranking official to contract it.
The White House confirmed that O’Brien has the virus but that neither President Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence is at risk from exposure. It also confirmed that the symptoms he has are mild and do not prevent him from continuing his work, although he is obviously doing it remotely and in isolation.
“The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted,” said the White House official Fox News.
It is still unclear, or at least not officially reported, how O’Brien contracted the virus. He and Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger traveled to Paris earlier this month. During the trip O’Brien met with officials in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as other European officials. O’Brien also visited the American cemetery Aisne-Marne in northern France and attended the Bastille Day ceremony.
Bloomberg media reported that according to people close to him who asked not to be named in the story, O’Brien contracted the virus while taking a few days off work and spending time with his family. He also is suspected of having contracted the virus from a young relative, and O’Brien initially tested negative for coronavirus but later received a positive test. They also added that the official has not seen President Trump since before his vacation.
The news comes days after a cafeteria and another restaurant on the White House grounds were closed because a worker tested positive. Both locations were in the Eisenhower Executive Office building, which is the site of the National Security Council, although according to the General Services Administration (which oversees the Eisenhower building), the White House Medical Unit was tracking contacts and determined that the possibility of retransmission of the virus was very low.
While O’Brien is the closest official to President Trump suffering from the CCP Virus, he was not the first in his administration. Earlier, Katie Miller, press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, tested positive, according to other media reports.
Last week, a Marine Corps spokesman confirmed that a Marine assigned to the president’s helicopter squadron also tested positive. The Marine was not in contact with Marine One, the presidential helicopter.
The news of O’Brien’s diagnosis raises some concerns about the risk of President Trump and Vice President Pence being exposed to the virus, although the president and those around him are tested regularly, the White House said.