White House officials were aware of chief of staff Mark Meadows' COVID-19 diagnosis earlier this week, despite him being seen without a mask

  • Mark Meadows had already informed a close circle of White House aides he had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, but efforts were made to keep it quiet, Bloomberg reported.
  • His diagnosis was only formally revealed on Friday after he spent the week supporting Trump's re-election campaign and was seen in close proximity to the Trump family without a mask. 
  • At least four other White House officials have tested positive for COVID-19, including Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows' closest aides, and senior campaign advisor, Nick Trainer.
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Efforts were made to keep quiet the fact that Mark Meadows had already informed a close circle of White House aides he had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, according to Bloomberg.

A White House official who spends a considerable amount of time around Meadows during the week said they were not told he had tested positive. Instead, they were only that "contact tracing was done," leaving staff alarmed that he might have been around them while infectious, CNN reported.

His diagnosis was only formally revealed on Friday after he spent the week supporting Donald Trump's re-election campaign, and was seen without a mask and in close proximity to the Trump family.

He met with Vice-President Pence and Jared Kushner on Wednesday at the campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to organise the post-election response, according to the Independent.

Meadows also made an appearance at a White House party.  Several hundred people gathered and mingled without masks at the event, while watching election coverage throughout the night, the Independent said.

Jennifer Jacobs, the reporter who wrote the Bloomberg piece tweeted a video from the event at the White House's East Room which shows Meadows shaking someone's hand.

 

At least four other White House officials have tested positive for COVID-19, including Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows' closest aides and senior campaign advisor, Nick Trainer.

Meadows previously refused to give a statement to reporters after they asked him to wear a mask, in a video that has been shared widely across social media, the New York Times reported.

He also stayed at Trump's bedside when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early October but returned to the White House to answer reporters' questions without a mask.

Speaking with CNN's Jake Rapper on the 'State of the Union', Meadows said: "We are not going to control the pandemic. What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this."

The news comes after the US recorded a new daily record for COVID-19 cases for the third straight day, with more than 127,000 infections being reported in 24 hours, as well as 1,149 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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