White House reporter tests positive for COVID-19

A White House reporter has tested positive for the coronavirus after attending two press conferences this week.

The news follows a nationwide rise in COVID-19 diagnoses, though new cases in Washington, DC remain low.

The president of the White House Correspondents Association, Jonathan Karl, said in an email that the journalist is asymptomatic and did not linger in the press workspaces.

“The person attended the briefings on Monday 7/6 and Wednesday 7/8 afternoon and wore a mask the entire time he was in the White House complex,” wrote Karl.

“The individual is asymptomatic. We are contacting those whom the individual remembers having been in closest contact. In addition to the briefings, this person did not spend time working outside the White House and was only in the meeting room, not in another part of our workspace. “

The White House is offering free tests to journalists who were close to the person.

The diagnosis is one of the first for White House journalists. Many suspected cases early in the pandemic turned out to be false alarms.

White House journalists are allowed to walk the west wing path to interact with officials, and are allowed to walk through parts of the west wing that lead to press officers’ desks. Many White House employees do not wear masks.

Previously, aides close to President Trump had contracted the deadly virus without passing it on to the commander in chief. In May, a personal assistant to the spokesperson for the Trump and White House coronavirus task force, Katie Miller, tested positive.