Robert O'Brien, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, has tested positive for COVID-19. The statement about O'Brien's condition was released by a White House official.
COVID-19 positive official
O'Brien is now the highest-ranking Trump administration official that has tested positive for the coronavirus. It is not clear when he last met the president. The last public appearance of Trump and O'Brien together was two weeks ago, on July 10, during their visit to the US Southern Command in Miami.
According to an unnamed statement to the press, O'Brien is experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is now self-isolating. He is still working but is now in a secure location, according to CNN.
The statement confirmed the test results of O'Brien to the White House reporters, and his staff was not even told about his current condition. Several National Security Council staffers said that they did not know that O'Brien was positive for COVID-19 and they only knew about it after the media reported his condition.
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O'Brien is known as one of President Trump's aides. He has just returned from his trip from Europe where he met with officials from numerous countries such as Italy, France, Germany, and the UK/
Since last week, O'Brien has been working from home and a source that is familiar with him said that he was last in the office on July 23. The statement from the White House said that there is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.
Larry Kudlow, the White House chief economic adviser, said that one of O'Brien's daughters has tested positive for COVID-19. They believe that was how he got infected.
Multiple pictures that were released from O'Brien's trip to Europe showed him not wearing a mask nor practicing social distancing. Foreign officials stated that officials from France are now scrambling after they found out that O'Brien tested positive for the virus.
The President's take on the pandemic
As the pandemic continues to spread in the United States, President Trump has defended not social distancing or wearing a mask. Many of his top officials and staffers are also not wearing masks and are not social distancing because they believe it is not necessary since they are tested every day.
Last week, the officials were alerted after an employee at the cafeteria in the White House had tested positive for COVID-19. Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, and campaign fundraising official, tested positive for the virus before she went on a trip to Mt. Rushmore.
Numerous Secret Service agents and campaign staffers also tested positive of the virus after they were infected while preparing for President Trump's Tulsa campaign rally, according to CNN.
Katie Miller, the communications director of Vice President Mike Pence also tested positive for COVID-19 back in May. O'Brien is Trump's fourth national security adviser. He had been out of sight since the coronavirus pandemic began.
It was reported by CNN that O'Brien did not help lead the response of the Trump administration to fight the current pandemic. O'Brien has also passed his responsibilities to other top aides and he also bypassed COVID-19 task force meetings.