White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2020
AFP

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest high-profile official in President Donald Trump's immediate circle to be hit by the deadly virus.

McEnany, 32, has become the highest-ranking White House official to be tested positive for COVID-19 after President Trump and the first lady tested positive for the deadly virus that has so far killed more than 200,000 Americans this year.

"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," McEnany said in a statement posted on Twitter.

No reporters, producers or members of the press are listed as close contacts by the White House Medical Unit, she said.

"Moreover, I definitively had no knowledge of Hope Hicks diagnosis prior to holding a White House press briefing on Thursday," she said, referring to her press meet in the White House on that day while not wearing a mask.

A close aide of the president and the first lady, Hicks was the first senior White House official last week to have tested positive. Soon thereafter Trump and his wife Melania tested positive.

"As an essential worker I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time. With my recent positive test I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely," McEnany said.

Several White House staffers have tested positive with COVID-19 in recent months, including National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Miller and Trump body man Nick Luna.

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