Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

'Essential' Pence will forego quarantine despite office's apparent COVID-19 outbreak

Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, Pence spokesman Devin O'Malley confirmed, adding that Pence and second lady Karen Pence both tested negative for the coronavirus.

The vice president is considered a close contact of Short, but O'Malley said he won't go into quarantine and will "maintain his schedule in accordance with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines for essential personnel."

It appears there is a larger outbreak in Pence's circle, although O'Malley only formally acknowledged Short's diagnosis, and two people briefed on the matter told The New York Times that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tried to keep that news from reaching the public. Another source told the Times that three additional Pence staffers tested positive for the virus, while Bloomberg reports that Marty Obst, a Pence adviser, also recently tested positive. Per Bloomberg, both Obst and Short are experiencing minor COVID-19 symptoms. Read more at The New York Times and Bloomberg.