One of President Donald Trump’s closest advisors, Hope Hicks, has tested positive for Covid-19, US media reported Thursday.
The White House would not officially confirm the reports from The New York Times, Bloomberg and other outlets that Hicks has the virus.
The spotlight will immediately turn to Trump himself, since Hicks was traveling with him on Air Force One just this Tuesday to fly to Cleveland for the first presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden.
She was also with him on the Marine One helicopter Wednesday when he flew back to the White House after a rally in Minnesota.
Trump says the United States has put the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, behind and he rarely wears a mask, noting that he receives frequent testing.
However, his own health experts have often given less rosy assessments and he has been sharply criticized by some for holding large rallies where few supporters wear masks.
Asked about Hicks, White House spokesman Judd Deere said “the president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”
Deere said the White House takes care to follow procedures “for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the president is traveling.”