The list of White House staffers sickened by the novel coronavirus has grown one name longer with the announcement Monday that Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had been infected.
McEnany, 32, said in a statement on Monday that she tested positive for the coronavirus that morning but didn't have any symptoms.
She said she would be quarantining while still working as an administration spokeswoman.
In a defensive tone reflecting the confusion created by the White House's handling of the outbreak in the administration — which has so far infected President Donald Trump, his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, senior aide Hope Hicks, former senior aide Kellyanne Conway and others — McEnany insisted that she had not been in "close contact" with any journalists while sick.
She also maintained that she "definitively had no knowledge" about Hicks' diagnosis when she spoke with the press last Thursday.
Some reporters noted on Monday that, despite McEnany saying she hadn't exposed anyone in the media, she was seen taking off her face mask to speak with reporters over the weekend.
McEnany, a former Trump campaign spokeswoman who was named press secretary in April, is the latest among the president's aides and other Republicans in Trump's orbit to confirm they have the coronavirus.
The cause of the outbreak remains unclear, though many of those who are sick attended a White House event in support of Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, where attendees were in close proximity and many did not wear masks.
The most troubling case from that cluster of infections is the president himself.
Trump announced early Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump were both positive for the coronavirus.
On Friday night, he was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a days-long hospitalization.
Officials said over the weekend that his oxygen levels had dropped twice and he had a fever on Friday, but his doctors have said they are trying to project optimism and he is doing better.
Information about the president's health has regularly conflicted since he first announced he was sick, including when an administration official — later identified as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — anonymously told the press that Trump's prognosis was more grave than his doctors had said publicly.
White House officials have also been reluctant to specify the timeline of when the president and first lady were first exposed and then first confirmed their infection.
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