Trish Scalia, the wife of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Labor Department announced Tuesday night.
The agency said in a statement that doctors confirmed the positive result Tuesday afternoon. She was ”experiencing mild symptoms but doing well.”
The labor secretary had tested negative and was experiencing no symptoms, according to the Labor Department.
“The Secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish’s recovery and the health of those around them,” the agency said. “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.”
On Sept. 26, Eugene and Trish Scalia attended the Rose Garden ceremony in honor of Amy Coney Barrett that appears to be the source of a COVID-19 outbreak among White House insiders. Photos from the event show Trish Scalia seated in the second row between her husband and former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who tested positive as well, though it’s not clear she contracted the virus at the event.
Other photos show the labor secretary, who is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, mingling inside the White House without a mask. His mother, Maureen, was also in attendance.
Eugene Scalia has not tested positive for the coronavirus since the outbreak became known, according to the Labor Department. But according to a report from Bloomberg Law confirmed by HuffPost, Scalia showed up in person at the Labor Department in early October despite being potentially exposed to the virus recently at the White House.
Scalia had taken at least four work trips after the White House soiree and before the president announced on Oct. 1 that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive. The Labor Department said Scalia had been working from home as of last week.
As the labor secretary, Scalia is responsible for enforcing the country’s workplace safety laws. He appears to have ignored his own agency’s guidance on face coverings at times, with photos showing him indoors without a mask in the course of his duties. One such instance was at a meeting with the Dallas Chamber of Commerce in June.
Scalia and the administration have come under withering criticism during the pandemic for the performance of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the Labor Department. Concerned workers have flooded the agency with complaints about hazardous working conditions, but OSHA has performed relatively few inspections, issued only modest fines and put no new coronavirus-specific regulations on the books.
HuffPost recently interviewed workers who were disappointed at how difficult it was to get OSHA to carry out an on-the-ground inspection after filing a complaint. They also lamented how small the agency’s penalties against employers have been, such as a $13,494 citation against a meatpacking plant that lost four workers to COVID-19.
The Labor Department has defended OSHA’s track record on coronavirus, saying the agency has been “working around the clock” to keep workers safe.
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