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US Housing Secretary Carson Tests Positive for COVID-19

US Housing Secretary Carson Tests Positive for COVID-19
Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, listens to questions during testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to examine housing regulations during the pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Astrid Riecken - Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 November 2020 12:55 PM

U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, becoming the latest victim of a second outbreak affecting the White House and top advisers to President Donald Trump.

HUD’s Chief of Staff Andrew Hughes revealed Carson's diagnosis in a memo sent to the agency’s staff. Hughes said that Carson was “resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better.”

Anyone who had contact with Carson within the past week will be notified and “all precautions are being taken,” Hughes wrote.

He was tested at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington on Monday after he began to experience symptoms of the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,” the agency’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, said in a statement.

Baker said Carson attended an election night party on Tuesday at the White House. President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive for coronavirus the day after he attended the same party.

Few of the attendees at the crowded party were seen wearing masks. ABC News reported Carson’s positive test earlier Monday.

The event has triggered renewed scrutiny of the White House’s basic safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and mask-wearing.

In addition to Carson and Meadows, at least five other White House officials have tested positive in recent days, as well as a senior Trump campaign adviser.

Some aides to Trump were frustrated that Meadows did not issue a statement after he tested positive. His infection was not widely known among the staff until late Friday, when it was reported by Bloomberg News.

Several other cabinet chiefs were in attendance at the election night party, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Attorney General William Barr and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Mnuchin tested negative on Monday, according to the Treasury Department. Azar, one of the only people at the party to be photographed wearing a mask, made a Monday morning appearance on Fox News.

He said he had not been in close contact with Carson at the party.

Barr is negative for the virus, according to his spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. The Justice Department didn’t immediately say when he was last tested.

Carson was a world-renowned neurosurgeon before he entered politics and he was named a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force. His age, 69, makes him more vulnerable to serious illness from the virus.

This report contains material from Reuters and Bloomberg News.

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U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, becoming the latest victim of a second outbreak affecting the White House and top advisers to President Donald Trump.
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2020-55-09
Monday, 09 November 2020 12:55 PM
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