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Trump press spokesman Kayleigh McEnany assessments optimistic for coronavirus

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday she tested positive for the coronavirus, a diagnosis made as President Donald Trump remains in hospital with the virus.

McEnany is the thirteenth in the White House or is related to Trump's re-election campaign or a White House that tested positive for Covid-19 since last Thursday.

"After testing negative results regularly, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning with no symptoms," McEnany said in a statement she posted on Twitter.

"No reporters, producers, or media representatives are listed as close contacts by the White House medical department."

The other people linked to Trump and recent White House events who have tested positive since Thursday are Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee chairman, Ronna McDaniel, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, the former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, three Republican Senators, Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Nick Luna, the President's personal assistant, along with John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame.

McEnany, who is married to a daughter who was born last November, briefed reporters at the White House last Thursday, hours before it was revealed that Trump's adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for Covid-19. Trump's diagnosis and that of his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, were revealed shortly after Hicks' diagnosis was published.

"I was definitely unaware of Hope Hicks' diagnosis before I held a press conference at the White House on Thursday," McEnany wrote on her Twitter post.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany takes off her face covering before speaking to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on October 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for coronavirus.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

"As a key contributor at this point, I was working diligently to provide the American people with the information they needed," she wrote.

"With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and continue to work remotely on behalf of the American people."

In White House circles, McEnany has become a symbol of how narrow the early diagnoses of Covid-19 were among senior officials.

While Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus early Thursday, McEnany was neither immediately informed of the diagnosis nor that she had been exposed to the virus until press reports about Hicks surfaced on Thursday evening.

A senior White House official told NBC News that McEnany was dragged out of the group accompanying Trump to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey last Thursday, but was not told why.

That official said McEnany didn't learn until later that afternoon that HIcks had tested positive that day.

In the hours between Hicks & # 39; test positive and when McEnany found out about it, she briefed the press in the White House briefing room without wearing a mask.

Melania Trump spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, who preceded McEnany as White House press secretary, declined to comment on McEnany's disclosure on Monday.

McEnany told reporters Saturday that she tested negative, and she was seen wearing a mask on the White House grounds on Friday when the president was relocated to Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

But on Sunday she took off her mask to record an appearance on Fox News. Moments later, she removed it to speak to reporters who had gathered on the White House lawn to the north.

At least three journalists who were at the White House last week tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the White House Correspondents Association.

As of Sunday evening, the White House had not contacted any of the infected correspondents to conduct a contact trace.

White House chief communications advisor, Ben Williamson, tweeted Monday about McEnany's missing mask: "For those who asked, @PressSec briefly removed her mask on the microphone to answer questions, was there for two questions and only 58 seconds ( according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) would not constitute "permanent contact") and was socially distanced from reporters in the region

Zeke Miller, President of the White House Correspondents Association, said in a statement: "We wish Kayleigh, the President and everyone else struggling with the virus a speedy recovery."

"We are currently not aware of any other cases among White House journalists, although we know some are waiting for test results," Miller said. "We strongly encourage our members to continue to follow CDC's guidelines on wearing and distancing masks – especially in the White House – and to encourage journalists to conduct tests if they are potentially exposed."

– Additional coverage from CNBC's Kevin Breuninger

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