Donald Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tests positive for coronavirus

Access to the comments Comments
By Associated Press
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks on a phone on the South Lawn of the White House.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks on a phone on the South Lawn of the White House.   -  Copyright  Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with coronavirus, becoming the latest White House official to test positive for the disease, according to reports.

It comes as the United States set new daily records for confirmed cases of the virus for the third consecutive day on Friday with over 127,000 infections.

Two senior administration officials confirmed on Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. 

They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition, according to reports by Bloomberg News.

Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to election day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count. He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.

It marked the latest case of the virus in the White House, coming less than two weeks after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, and other aides tests positive for the virus. 

Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face-masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Trump has repeatedly said that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, which was top of mind for voters in Tuesday's election.

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have increased more than 50 per cent in the past two weeks. According to analysis of data from John Hopkins University by the Associated Press, the 7-day rolling average for daily new cases rose from 61,166 on October 22 to 94,625 on November 5.