Published On: Sun, May 10th, 2020

Mike Pence news: White House staff ‘scared to go to work’ as Vice President staff positive | World | News

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Speaking in a Sunday television appearance, Kevin Hassett said that “it is scary to go to work” in the West Wing, after White House staff member Katie Miller tested positive for the virus on Friday. This is just one day after President Donald Trump’s valet also tested positive for coronavirus.

Hassett told CBS News’ Face the Nation that the Trump administration is watching closely as “states around the country are starting to turn their economies back on.”

However, he noted that social distancing and the wearing of masks should be maintained because there are still thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day.

This now includes several in his own workplace.

As of Friday, three members of the White House have tested positive for COVID-19.

Mike Pence

Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller tested positive for coronavirus on Friday (Image: GETTY)

Mike Pence

Mike Pence is now self-isolating after his press secretary Katie Miller tested positive for coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

Nonetheless, the Trump administration continues encouraging some businesses and states to cautiously pursue reopening.

CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Hassett: “Companies and employers need to know what to do to safely re-open.

“The White House is testing staff regularly.

“Is that what you’re advising America’s businesses to do? When will the CDC release specific guidance?”

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Kevin Hassett

Kevin Hassett said that ‘it is scary to go to work’ in the West Wing (Image: GETTY)

Mr Hasset replied: “You know, I’m not a doctor. I’m just an economist.

“But I think that right now we have bought some time with all the money that we’ve thrown at the economy and we’ve been using the time to do things like develop treatments, improve our treatments, learn more about social distancing and so on.”

When asked if he personally wears a mask, Hassett relayed his health concerns about the White House staff.

Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have previously declined to wear masks in public.

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Kevin Hassett

Hassett declined to offer a specific date in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may offer guidelines to businesses and states about testing (Image: GETTY)

Donald Trump

The Trump administration continues encouraging some businesses and states to cautiously pursue reopening (Image: GETTY)

Both have faced heavy criticism for this decision.

The economic advisor said: “You know, I’ve got a mask right here.

“And the fact is that I practice aggressive social distancing,”he added.

“I’ll wear a mask when I feel it’s necessary. It is scary to go to work. You know, I was not part of the White House in March.

“I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing.

“But, you know, it’s the time when people have to step up and serve their country.”

“And so the interesting, sad thing about my dear colleague who was stricken with the coronavirus this week is that we were getting tested because we’re close to the president every day.

“And even with that, you know, she tested negative one day and then positive the next day. And she’s going to work at a community where people are being tested. And so this is a very, very scary virus,” he continued.

Mike Pence

Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have previously declined to wear masks in public (Image: GETTY)

Hassett declined to offer a specific date in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may offer guidelines to businesses and states about testing amid the reopening process.

He predicted that late May or June will likely be the high point for U.S. job losses, potentially climbing above a 20 percent unemployment rate.

Hassett repeatedly said “testing is a key component,” but it still doesn’t remove all the risks.

He added: “Right now, looking across the US, there are more than 30 million people that are getting initial claims from unemployment insurance, and that’s the biggest negative shock to the jobs market that we’ve seen since World War II,” Hassett added.



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