Ben Carson, who attended the White House's election night watch party, has tested positive for COVID-19

  • Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has tested positive for COVID-19, multiple news outlets reported.
  • He attended the election night watch party at the White House last week.
  • The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also attended the event and later told associates he tested positive for the virus.
  • Carson's positive diagnosis means that at least seven people in Trump's orbit have tested positive for COVID-19 since the days before and after the election night party.
  • Overall, Bloomberg News reported that more than three dozen people associated with Trump and the White House have been infected. 
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Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, ABC News' Katherine Faulders reported. Several other media outlets including Bloomberg, CNN, and NBC News confirmed the news shortly after.

Carson's "deputy chief of staff says he's 'in good spirits & feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,'" Faulders tweeted. 

She added that Carson attended the election night watch party at the White House last week.

The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told associates last Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Meadows also attended the election night watch party the night before, The New York Times reported.

The election night party featured little social distancing and almost no masks, and with Meadows, Carson, and a number of undisclosed White House staff testing positive, the event has invited sharp scrutiny, particularly given the White House's refusal to disclose who has been infected.

The Los Angeles Times reported that many White House and campaign officials and those who attended the election night party were not informed about the diagnoses and only found out when they were reported in the media. PBS News' Yamiche Alcindor reported that she spoke to a number of aides on election night "who were worried the event would become a super spreader and felt pressured to go to save face."

So far, excluding Carson, six White House aides and a Trump campaign staffer have tested positive for the virus since the days before and after the election night party, The New York Times reported.

Bloomberg News reported that overall, more than three dozen people associated with Trump and the White House have been infected, including the president, First Lady Melania Trump, and his son Barron. Trump's White House counselor, Hope Hicks, also tested positive, as did his campaign manager, Bill Stepien.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March. With over 10 million confirmed cases, the US currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases of any country in the world.

As of Monday morning, more than 237,000 Americans have died from the disease, according to data obtained by Johns Hopkins University. Earlier Monday, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that its coronavirus vaccine had proven to be more than 90% effective in preventing the disease.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious disease expert, applauded the news, saying the 90% success rate "is just extraordinary" and that the vaccine would have a "major impact" on steps the US takes to combat the pandemic moving forward.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also celebrated the milestone but falsely painted it as a joint achievement between the administration and Pfizer. The pharmaceutical giant did not use taxpayer dollars to research and develop the vaccine.

"We were never part of the Warp Speed," Kathrin Jansen, a senior vice president and the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, told The Times. Operation Warp Speed is the government's initiative to speed up the development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. "We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone."

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