SAUL LOEB/Getty Images Vice President Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Friday morning, hours after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they had contracted the virus, according to the White House.
Pence’s spokesman, Devin O’Malley, said early Friday that he and Second Lady Karen Pence had both tested negative after the president was infected.
“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day,” O’Malley wrote on Twitter. “This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.”
While it remained unclear how the Trumps were sickened — or if they have been showing symptoms — their diagnosis was announced in the wake of confirmation that the president’s adviser Hope Hicks was infected, too.
Hicks had recently traveled with the president as well.
On Friday morning, Pence, 61, tweeted his well wishes, saying he was praying for the Trumps, his “dear friends.”
“Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump,” the vice president wrote. “We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.”
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Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) October 2, 2020
Pence has been leading the White House’s much scrutinized coronavirus task force, while Trump has been the face of those efforts — holding marathon televised press briefings with health officials in the spring and summer.
In May, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shut down a reporter’s question regarding what procedure, if any, would be enacted should Trump or Pence become incapacitated by the virus in the future.
“That’s not even something that we’re addressing. We’re keeping the president healthy. We’re keeping the vice president healthy and you know they’re healthy at this moment and they’ll continue to be,” McEnany said then.
Though Pence and his wife tested negative on Friday morning, according to the White House, they may still have contracted the virus: If they are tested too early in the course of infection, it can result in a false negative.
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A former aide to the vice president, who spent six months participating in meetings held by the White House coronavirus task force and who left the administration in June, recently called the administration’s response to the pandemic “frightening.”
In an interview on NBC Nightly News, Olivia Troye claimed that the president was more concerned with his public image than the safety of the American public.
“He was really focused on public image, messaging and it was really more about, you know, his personal agenda than really the agenda that the task force had at hand, which was: ‘How are we going to save and protect Americans?’ ” Troye said.
In response to those recent comments, Pence has dismissed her as a “disgruntled employee.”