Trump’s personal valet gets coronavirus, potentially exposing the president

By Arianne Cohen

The White House said today that a personal valet of President Trump’s has tested positive for COVID-19, after displaying symptoms of the illness. Trump was reportedly upset to learn of the exposure (May 15, 2020).

The valet is a member of the U.S. Navy who serves the Trump family with a variety of personal tasks involving close contact, such as providing food and accompanying the president on travel.

According to CNN and other reports, the White House has not followed social distancing guidelines, with staffers and valets mostly not wearing masks. Trump has eschewed masks and previously said that he was unconcerned about potential exposures, due to the frequent rapid testing service that the White House uses, which returns results in 15 minutes. However, not all workers with access to the president are being tested, and the system does not protect against infected staffers who may spread the virus in the days before developing symptoms.

The CDC suggests that those exposed to someone known to test positive for COVID-19 self-quarantine, staying home for 14 days and stringently remaining at least six feet from others. The White House has not clarified whether President Trump will follow these guidelines.

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