Trump and Pence will steer clear of each other to cut down on the risk of them both contracting the coronavirus

Trump and Pence will steer clear of each other to cut down on the risk of them both contracting the coronavirus
President Donald Trump (R) and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Donald Trump and Mike Pence will maintain distance from one another as the White House grapples with two aides and nearly a dozen Secret Service agents testing positive for the coronavirus.
  • The president and vice president have been criticized for flouting CDC guidelines about wearing face masks in public.
  • A senior official told ABC News that the pair will, as far as possible, avoid attending meetings together.
  • Pence also avoided the White House on Monday. He joined his staff in working at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will steer clear of each other to cut down on the risk of them both being incapacitated by the coronavirus.

The White House is scrambling to contain the illness in the West Wing as the president's personal valet and vice presiden's spokeswoman fell sick within a day of each other last week. Over the weekend, news also emerged that eleven Secret Service agents had contracted the disease.

A senior administration official told ABC News that the decision for Trump and Pence to maintain distance from each other was made at the suggestion of the White House Medical Unit.

Sources, who told the news outlet that discussions began over the weekend, noted that the pair will avoid attending meetings together as much as possible.

Although Trump and Pence regularly appear in public without face masks, whether its during a visit with World War II veterans or a stop by the Mayo Clinic, a staff memo on Monday directed "everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering," the Associated Press reported.


Staff will be permitted to remove their face coverings if they sit at least 6 feet away from their coworkers. However, this directive doesn't apply to the president, AP said.

According to Trump, both he and Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Monday. This announcement came after some confusion about whether Pence would self-isolate following his aide Katie Miller's positive diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has laid out guidelines for critical infrastructure workers, including undergoing a temperature check before entering the building, wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, disinfecting work areas, and monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms.

Pence obeyed those instructions and spent Monday in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building — located next to the White House — where the vice president and most of his staffers have offices.

On Tuesday, though, an AP reporter, Philip Crowther, tweeted that Pence was expected back in the White House, based on daily guidance shared with journalists.


Meanwhile, federal leaders continue to tout the benefits of reopening the economy, while medical experts warn of catastrophic results if states lift lockdowns prematurely.

On Monday, Trump skipped wearing a face mask, but declared that the United States has "met the moment and ... prevailed" in terms of coronavirus testing.

"If somebody wants to be tested right now they'll be able to be tested," Trump said at a press conference, trying to instill confidence among Americans that it's safe to resume business. But officials later clarified that "everybody who needs a test can get a test."

Read the original article on Business Insider