Speed Reads

COVID in the White House

White House residence staffers who caught coronavirus were reportedly told to keep it quiet

White House residence staffers are reasonably worried about the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

While President Trump was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19, he's headed back to the White House on Monday evening. First lady Melania Trump never left.

But weeks before their diagnoses, two housekeepers at the White House also tested positive for COVID-19. And while they worked on a different floor than where the first family stays, they were told to use "discretion" and avoid talking about their illness, The New York Times reports.

Around 90 "ushers, butlers, housekeepers, valets, florists, engineers and cooks" make up the White House's permanent residence staff and usually stay on the job from president to president, The Washington Post details. "Discretion" is always a "key component" of their job, and "speaking out about anything, including working conditions, can be a cause for dismissal," the Post continues. But former staffers have come out to say they fear the first family hasn't worn masks around staffers, even in the residence's tight hallways.