Count White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as yet another one of President Donald Trump's staffers who are falling sick with infection. McEnany announced on social media Monday, October 5, that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
The secretary said in her tweet that she had been testing consistently negative every day since Thursday, and that she is not experiencing any symptoms right now. She clarified that she had not come into close contact with any journalists and will continue to work while quarantining herself.
McEnany is the latest in Trump's camp to reveal she has the virus. Advisor Hope Hicks (who had been traveling with the President on Air Force One this week), former counselor Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager Bill Stepien and Trump himself all stated they were positive on Friday. First Lady Melania Trump also has contracted the virus and is quarantining at the White House.
Adding to the drama surrounding this startling cluster of announcements is conflicting information about when the President actually knew he had tested positive. Various news outlets are reporting that Trump knew he had contracted the virus on Thursday, but chose not to reveal this information on a scheduled call-in to Sean Hannity's Fox News program Thursday night, stating instead that he and Melania were awaiting their latest test results.
"Whether we have it, I don't know," he told Hannity.
Reportedly, the President also ordered a senior aide to keep quiet and not tell anyone that he had actually contracted the the virus.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, following Trump's official positive confirmation, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley further muddled the waters regarding when the President actually discovered he had the virus. During a press briefing, he said the President was "72 hours into the diagnosis" of COVID-19, presenting a timeframe in which Trump may have actually known he was infected on Wednesday — and risked spreading it to others during campaign activities.
Conley, who deflected questions on Saturday about the details of how Trump might have contracted the virus, claimed later in a memo that he misspoke in saying 72 hours and that he meant to say "Day three" in terms of diagnosis and treatment.
The timing of the White House health crisis coincides with the release of a new book about COVID-19 that will uncover more details about what’s really going on inside the White House. The book, COVID-19: The Greatest Cover-Up In History — From Wuhan To The White House — by investigative journalists Dylan Howard and Dominic Utton and now on sale — has explosive new details about the U.S. government’s reaction to the virus.
“The true story of COVID-19 is not just that of a silent killer that suddenly invaded the world,” co-author Utton said. “It’s the scandal of a global tragedy that could have — and should have — been prevented.”