The White House on Wednesday refused to address questions by the Press Pool, who had been informed earlier in the day that multiple staffers recently tested positive for COVID-19, despite having discussed such scenarios in the recent past.
“The White House called the journalists from the pool 30 minutes late to get our routine covid test. I was told they were late because ‘It was a very busy morning. We had a couple of positives today,’” tweeted GloboNews journalist Raquel Krähenbühl.
“Do you have information about COVID, about positive cases in the White House today?” she asked White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“I don’t comment on any health related issues as it relates to the White House,” Meadows replied.
— Raquel Krähenbühl (@Rkrahenbuhl) September 16, 2020
Hours later, at a press briefing, Fox News’ John Roberts asked McEnany: “Have any members of the White House staff recently tested positive for coronavirus?”
McEnany dismissed the question: “I don’t share people’s personal medical information.”
Roberts pressed further: “But we have had, we have heard in the past when that has been the case. Why the change?”
McEnany again refused to answer:
I’ve seen the reporting out there but again I’m not here to give people’s personal identities. In the past when I’ve discussed a case, unfortuntely that individual’s name was leaked to the media.
.@johnrobertsFox: "Have any members of White House staff recently tested positive for coronavirus?"
.@PressSec Kayleigh McEnany: "I don't share people's personal medical information."
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 16, 2020
Toward the end of the briefing, Bloomberg reporter Josh Wingrove revisited the topic.
Wingrove asked McEnany if anyone who attended the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between the United States, Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday “tested positive for coronavirus subsequently… would be notififed through contact tracing?”
McEnany: “We do contract tracing, so close contacts are always notified.”
You can watch the full press briefing below:
US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayini, and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed were in close proximity when they signed the controversial document on the South Lawn of the White House.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.