Pence tests negative for coronavirus

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US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 21, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Imags

Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for the coronavirus, his press secretary said. Second Lady Karen Pence also tested negative. 

The vice president said earlier Saturday he would be tested for the coronavirus after a member of his office tested positive. The staff member’s positive diagnosis was announced Friday. 

“Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual,” Katie Miller, the vice president’s press secretary, said in a statement Friday. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

Pence said Saturday that the staff member experienced “mild, cold-like symptoms” for around a day and a half and has not been at the White House since Monday. 

The staff member is “doing well,” Pence said Saturday at a White House briefing.  

Trump also was tested for the coronavirus last week after dining at Mar-a-Lago with the press secretary for Brazil’s president who tested positive.

Trump tested negative for COVID-19, the White House physician said March 14. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also said he also tested negative. 

Pence said the White House doctor had “no reason to believe” that the vice president was exposed to the staff member who is sick. But he said he wanted to be tested due to the “unique” position he holds as both vice president and leader of the White House’s COVID-19 task force. 

The White House said last week it took new precautions to prevent the virus from spreading to Trump and Pence. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said last week.

— CNBC’s Spencer Kimball contributed to this report

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