Latest U.S. coronavirus news: Several White House staffers test positive, New York enters first phase of reopening

As U.S. President Donald Trump continues to claim that there’s a decline of COVID-19 numbers across the country, he faces a precarious situation right in his own turf.

Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Miller is not only close aide of Pence; her husband, Stephen, is one of Trump’s senior advisors.

Late last week another White House worker, a personal valet of Trump, who is a member of the military and serves him food, tested positive for the coronavirus as well.

Several members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, placed themselves in quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Fauci has tested negative for the virus — but said he will be tested regularly.

Also quarantining are Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn.

Various news reports have come out that many White House employees are growing anxious and worried about their safety and wellbeing.

ABC News is now reporting the White House has issued a mandate for all staff in the West Wing to wear masks at all times.

Meanwhile, as most states have taken steps to reopen their economies, some are acting fast — while some are taking things too slow as Trump suggested.

But New York, the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, is now looking to enter its first phase of reopening this week, amid alarming numbers — with more than 337,000 confirmed cases and over 21,600 deaths.

19,000 of those fatalities are from New York City.

 

“To turn to reopening, because we have abated the worst by what we’ve done and now we can intelligently turn towards reopening and that’s May 15th. That’s this Friday. And local regions are all, across the state should start to prepare for it and people as well.”
“Starting with construction, manufacturing, retail, curbside pickup,  agriculture, forestry and fishing. Then to phase two. Phase three, phase four, monitoring all along.”
But the CDC is now reporting that the death toll in the state of New York may actually be much higher than the official tally.
Health officials have identified more than 5,000 fatalities in New York City between March and early May, that may have been caused by COVID-19 but weren’t counted as part of the official coronavirus death toll.

(Cover photo: Members of the White House staff and the U.S. Secret Service stand along the West Wing colonnade prior to U.S. President Donald Trump holding a coronavirus disease outbreak press briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on May 11. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

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