Senior Trump Official, Robert O’Brien, is the first senior aide in the administration to test positive for COVID-19. As a National Security Advisor, O’Brien frequently briefs the president and other senior aides. But while the proximity is worrisome for the president’s health, the White House issued a statement saying, “There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.”
The statement said O’Brien, “has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site.” They assured the American people that the NSC would not be affected by his absence. O’Brien traveled to Europe, where he met with officials from the UK, France, Germany, and Italy, which has some pundits speculating if he contracting the virus while abroad. O’Brien, however, said he got it from a family event.
O’Brien is continuing to do his work mostly over the phone. It is unclear who he made contact with since contracting the virus, and what the steps will be at the White House. As a senior official, he was tested daily. He is also part of the Coronavirus task force, which meets once a week. CNN reported that for the first time, Larry Kudlow was seen walking into the White House wearing a mask, and spoke to the reporters with the mask on, which is unusual for Trump officials.
Trump has taken a different approach to the virus starting last week, where he began to advocate people wear a mask, as well as his announcement to cancel the Jacksonville component of the Republican National Convention.