The administration has sought to minimize the spread.
October 7, 2020, 11:53 p.m.• 3 min read
The coronavirus outbreak has infected “34 White House staff and other contacts” in recent days, according to an internal government memo, an indication that the disease has spread among more people than was known previously at the seat of the US government.
Dated Wednesday and obtained by ABC News, the memo was distributed to senior executives at FEMA, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security and the agency responsible for managing the continued national response to the public health disaster.
The note also notes that a senior adviser to the president is among those infected. Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller, both senior associates of the president, have tested positive in recent days.
The new figures highlight both the growing crisis in the White House and efforts by government officials to block information about the spread of the epidemic. ABC News previously reported that a total of 24 White House aides and their contacts contracted the virus. It was not clear from the FEMA note with the larger number what the “other contacts” referred to.
When President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Tuesday, he immediately removed his mask before entering the building, raising concerns that his behavior endangered staff, complex workers and agents. secret services.
On Tuesday, White House communications director Alyssa Farah said the White House was “taking precautions” to stem the spread and those still working in the West Wing “felt at ease” .
But on Wednesday, images emerged showing several White House collaborators interacting in close proximity to each other without masks.