WASHINGTON – Mark Meadows, U.S. President Donald Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, has quarantined himself after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the new virus that causes COVID-19, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Meadows, a veteran Republican congressman from North Carolina, joins five other lawmakers who are putting themselves in quarantine or restricting their work after contact with people who tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Earlier Monday, Republican Representatives Doug Collins of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida announced that they had gone into self-imposed quarantine after learning they’d come in contact at a conservative group’s conference with an individual who subsequently tested positive for the virus, which has been spreading globally.
Meadows was also in contact with that individual, the person familiar with the matter said on Monday night. He was tested for the coronavirus, and although that test came back negative and he has no symptoms, he’s staying at home until Wednesday, when the 14-day risk period expires, the person added.
Trump announced last Friday night that he was replacing acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney with Meadows — changing the top leadership of the White House in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meadows, a Trump ally and loyal defender of the president during the impeachment trial, had declined to run for re-election this fall. Mulvaney has had the job in an acting capacity for more than a year, but Trump said Meadows would be “chief of staff.”
Trump himself has not been tested for the coronavirus, the White House said Monday.
“The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
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