At least three top Trump administration or campaign officials have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an election night watch party in the White House East Room.
The night – intended to mark a victory that never came – has become yet another symbol of the president’s cavalier attitude toward a virus that is ripping across the nation and infecting more than 100,000 people a day.
Ben Carson, the secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, tested positive, a department spokesperson confirmed Monday, as did David Bossie, who was recently tasked with overseeing the campaign’s legal challenges contesting the election’s outcome.
The event had been under scrutiny since another attendee, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, contracted the virus, which has now killed nearly 240,000 people in the U.S. alone.
Carson’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, said the secretary “is in good spirits” and “feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.” Carson is a retired neurosurgeon.
The White House has repeatedly refused to say who else has tested positive, even as the virus continues to spread. The latest White House cluster, coming just a month after Trump’s own diagnosis and hospitalization, includes a top Trump campaign official as well as a handful of undisclosed White House staff, officials said.
The White House has been increasingly secretive about outbreaks. Many White House and campaign officials, as well as those who attended the election watch party, were kept in the dark about the diagnoses, unaware until they were disclosed by the press.