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Reports: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has COVID-19

Reports: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has COVID-19
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for COVID-19. File Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has tested positive for COVID-19, senior administration officials said.

Meadows told a small group of advisers about his diagnosis Wednesday, an official told The New York Times Friday.

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Nick Trainer, a Trump campaign adviser, has also been made aware that Meadows has the coronavirus, a person briefed on the diagnosis said.

Four other White House officials have also tested COVID-19 positive, a person familiar with the diagnosis told The Times.

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Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows' closest aides, is among the four, according to a Bloomberg report.

Meadows allegedly told others not to disclose his condition, an official with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post.

The night before his diagnosis, Meadows was at Trump's election party at the White House where several hundred people gathered in the East Room for several hours to watch election returns, many of them not wearing masks.

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Meadows has mocked reporters, saying wearing masks muffled their voices, and video footage shows him refusing to give a statement to reporters because they asked him to wear a mask.

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Over three dozen people associated with the president or the White House have been infected with the coronavirus, including Trump himself, who has held several rallies with many people not wearing masks. Trump was hospitalized early last month with the virus. Trump's family members, including his wife, first lady Melania, and his son, Barron, have also been infected with the virus, and have since recovered.

Meadows described Trump's condition after he was hospitalized as "very concerning."

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The Times reported a few weeks later when Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Mark Short, tested COVID-19 positive that Meadows sought to keep the information secret.

Public health officials determined a gathering of more than 200 people at the White House on Sept. 26 for a Rose Garden ceremony to announce the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was a "super-spreader" event linked to dozens of COVID-19 infections.

The United States hit a new COVID-19 case record for the third straight day with more than 132,700 new cases on Friday. More than 1,000 deaths a day were also reported for the fourth straight day.

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The country has reported more than 9.7 million cases and over 236,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Meadows said late last month that the United States is "not going to control" the pandemic, but is "making efforts" to contain it by developing vaccines and therapeutics.

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