WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday. Then later the same day it was announced that at least two other additional White House press office staffers reported positive COVID-19 results as well Monday. The Monday announcements added to a growing list of positive cases in recent days connected to the Trump administration.
In a statement posted on Twitter, McEnany said on Monday morning she tested positive for COVID-19 but didn't have any symptoms. She added that she had tested negative every day since Thursday, when news broke that top White House aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Since Thursday, President Donald Trump, Melania Trump and several others that had recently been at the White House have tested positive.
She spoke briefly with reporters Sunday evening, without wearing a mask, but says that no members of the White House press corps spent enough time around her to be considered close contacts.
Also Monday announcements came out that White House communications aides Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt both reported positive coronavirus tests. Reports also said that other mid-level staffers had tested positive, but more names were not immediately announced.
"No reporters, producers, or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit," McEnany said. " Moreover, I definitely had no knowledge of Hope Hicks' diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday."
She said she has begun quarantining, but she will continue to work "on behalf of the American people remotely."
The news comes several days after President Trump tested positive for the virus and was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
His doctors said Sunday that his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly twice in recent days and that they gave him a steroid typically only recommended for the very sick. Still, they said Trump’s health is improving and that he could be discharged as early as Monday.
It's unclear how the president became infected but attention is focusing on a White House event Sept. 26 introducing his Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where more than 150 people gathered mostly without masks. Kellyanne Conway is one of several notable attendees who have since tested positive, along with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the University of Notre Dame president and Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.