Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, US, April 7, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

Fauci and two other White House Covid-19 taskforce members to self-quarantine

All three men scheduled to testify before a Senate committee will be allowed to do that via videoconference

​ News Desk May 10, 2020
Three members of the White House coronavirus (Covid-19) taskforce including Dr Anthony Fauci have placed themselves in self-quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, The Guardian reported.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn, are all expected to work remotely due to potential exposure to Covid-19.

Although, Fauci’s institute said that he has tested negative for Covid-19, it also said that he will continue to be tested regularly. It added that he is considered at relatively low risk based on the degree of his exposure, and that he would be taking appropriate precautions to mitigate the risk to personal contacts while still carrying out his duties.

The institute said that Fauci will stay at home and telework however, he will go to the White House if called and take every precaution.

The CDC said in a statement on Saturday evening that 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 statement said he felt fine and has no symptoms.

A few hours earlier, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed that Hahn had come in contact with someone who had tested positive and was in self-quarantine for the next two weeks. He tested negative for the virus.

All three men were scheduled to testify before a Senate committee on Tuesday, and it’s understood they will be allowed to do that via videoconference.

Politico reported Hahn had come into contact with Katie Miller, vice president Mike Pence’s press secretary, who tested positive for the virus on Friday. Her husband, Stephen Miller, is a top advisor to Donald Trump.

On Thursday the White House confirmed that a member of the military serving as one of Trump’s valets had also tested positive for Covid-19.

Trump, who publicly identified Miller’s positive test, said he was not worried about the virus spreading in the White House. However, officials said they were stepping up safety protocols.

Redfield sought to use the exposure as a teachable moment. The CDC statement said if he must go to the White House to fulfil any responsibilities as part of the coronavirus task force, he will follow CDC practices for critical infrastructure workers.

Those guidelines call for Redfield and anyone working on the task force to have their temperature taken and screened for symptoms each day, wear a face covering, and distance themselves from others.

Trump has resisted wearing a mask. In a meeting with the nation’s top military leaders on Saturday evening, he did not wear a mask during the brief portion that reporters were allowed to view.

The generals around Trump were also unmasked, but participants did sit a few feet away from each other.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the administration was stepping up mitigation efforts. It already requires daily temperature checks of anyone who enters the complex and has encouraged social distancing among those working in the building.


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