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Labor secretary's wife tests positive for COVID-19 after White House event

President Donald Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House on September 26. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
President Donald Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House on September 26. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The wife of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia has tested positive for COVID-19 after both attended an event at the White House Rose Garden linked with several other positive cases, officials said.

Trish Scalia was exhibiting "mild symptoms but doing well," the department said, adding that Eugene Scalia has tested negative for the virus.

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The Scalias attended the Rose Garden ceremony to announce President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and sat in the second row -- behind first lady Melania Trump and beside former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who have both tested positive.

The Scalias were guests at the event, as the labor secretary is the son of late Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia, for whom judge Barrett clerked after graduating from Notre Dame University Law School.

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"The secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish's recovery and the health of those around them. For the time being, the secretary will work from home while continuing to carry out the mission of the department and the president's agenda," the department said.

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Officials didn't say whether Trish Scalia had contracted the virus at the Rose Garden event more than two weeks ago. The coronavirus can incubate for up to 14 days before symptoms appear.

A dozen members of the White House's inner circle, including the president himself, have previously tested positive. Two senators who tested positive, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., serve on the judiciary committee that's meeting this to confirm Barrett.

RELATED About a dozen people linked to White House test positive for COVID-19

Barrett herself and her husband both tested positive for COVID-19 in the summer, but were no longer infectious at the ceremony, The Washington Post reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, characterized the Rose Garden ceremony as a "super-spreader" event.

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