Dr. Anthony Fauci is taking “appropriate precautions,” and two other White House Coronavirus Task Force members will self-quarantine for two weeks after being in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
Officials have confirmed that Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will self-quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive.
Fauci, who has been at the White House where two staffers have tested positive for the virus, had less exposure to confirmed cases than others. He has tested negative and is taking “appropriate precautions” for that risk, a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN he will begin a “modified quarantine.” A NIAID spokesperson said he will be tested regularly and monitor his temperature and other health indicators.
While he will stay at home and telework, Fauci will go to the White House if called and take every precaution, the institute said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Redfield will be “teleworking for the next two weeks” after it was determined he had a “low risk exposure” to a person at the White House, the CDC said in a statement Saturday evening. The statement said he felt fine and has no symptoms.
Hahn will self-quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed to USA TODAY on Saturday. Hahn has tested negative for the virus, according to FDA press officer Stephanie Caccomo.
The CDC and FDA would not disclose the identity of the person who had tested positive and with whom the agency leaders had come in contact.
Hahn and Redfield are set to testify as witnesses at a Senate health committee hearing on Tuesday. With permission from the White House, both will address the committee via videoconference, according to a statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
The coronavirus pandemic has been creeping closer to the inner circle of the White House in the past week, as two employees there have tested positive.
A member of Pence’s staff, press secretary Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus Friday. The revelation came just one day after the White House disclosed that a military valet to President Donald Trump also tested positive for the virus. Later on Friday, a person familiar with the matter said 11 Secret Service employees currently have the virus.
The White House’s efforts to project a sense of normalcy in order to persuade Americans to move past coronavirus have often been complicated by the virus itself. The administration has held several carefully orchestrated events in recent days to promote such an image, including a series of Oval Office meetings between Trump and governors, nurses and business leaders. But often, such outings end up underscoring the virus’ grip on American life.
Trump said White House aides will be tested for the virus daily instead of weekly. He said the valet was in the room with him on Tuesday, the day he began exhibiting symptoms, but that he did not recall any direct contact with him.
Regardless, Trump said he has been tested twice in recent days and that both tests came back negative. Pence, who is tested on a regular basis, was tested Friday.
Contributing: Michael Collins, Grace Hauck; The Associated Press