“She is a wonderful young woman, Katie, who has tested very well over a long period of time and then suddenly tested positive,” said Trump during a meeting with Republican members of Congress in the White House.
The president stated that Miller had not come in contact with him, but noted that she had been in contact with Pence.
Miller was in frequent contact with members of the press and the White House is now making further coronavirus tests available to reporters, said CNN White House official Jim Acosta.
Katie Miller is married to Trump’s senior adviser, Stephen Miller.
The announcement came after an hour’s delay on the Friday morning flight from Pence to Iowa when people were seen exiting the Air Force two before the plane took off from the tarmac at Andrews Joint Base, just outside Washington. .
A senior administration official told the Air Force Two on-board press pool that a staff from Pence, whom they had not named at the time, had tested negative for coronavirus Thursday and positive on Friday morning. Katie Miller, who was not on the plane, had probably been in contact with six people scheduled to fly during the trip, and were removed before takeoff, according to a senior administration official.
The pool was informed on Friday afternoon that everyone who planned had been tested for coronavirus and had tested negative.
The vice president, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to participate in a discussion with faith leaders in responsible religious and spiritual meetings, followed by a round table to ensure the food supply.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as well as Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst were also in Air Force Two with Pence for the trip.
About 10 Pence staff members are tested daily, the press pool told the senior administration official, adding that “the vice president and president have had no contact with this person recently.”
The official said Pence was last tested on Friday morning.
On Thursday, CNN reported that a member of the United States Navy acting as Trump’s personal valet tested positive for the coronavirus.
The valets are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House who often work very close to the President and the first family, helping them with a variety of personal tasks. They are responsible for the president’s food and drink not only in the west wing, but also travel with him when traveling or out of the country.
Trump was shocked when he was informed Wednesday that the valet was positive, a source told CNN, and the president was subsequently tested again by the White House doctor.
The president also said he had “very few personal contacts” with the man.
Following news of the valet’s illness, Trump said he would be tested daily for coronavirus. Pence, White House staff and people who come into contact with the President will also be tested daily.
Trump said before traveling aboard Air Force One earlier this week that he wasn’t worried about being in close contact with other people as those around him were regularly tested.
But a negative test and a lack of symptoms are not sure signs that someone cannot spread the virus.
Doctors say that the incubation period for coronavirus varies. The incubation period is the time it takes since you are exposed to the virus to develop symptoms. It goes from 2 to 14 days. The average incubation period is estimated to be five days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.
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