U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s chief of staff has tested positive for coronavirus but Mr Pence plans to continue campaign travel, officials said.
The White House argues Mr Pence is an essential worker and therefore exempt from guidelines by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that urge people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days.
“Essential personnel, whether it’s the vice president of the U.S. or anyone else, has to continue on,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told broadcaster CNN on Sunday.
Mr Pence is due to travel to North Carolina for a rally on Sunday.
The vice-president’s office announced the diagnosis of his chief of staff, Marc Short, late on Saturday, adding that Mr Pence tested negative and would maintain his busy schedule of travel, ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
It is the latest outbreak at the White House, after President Donald Trump and a dozen others were infected earlier this month.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation,” Mr Meadows said.
The Trump administration has been under fire for its handling of the pandemic, which has infected 8.5 million people in the U.S. and resulted in over 224,900 deaths.
The country recorded over 80,000 new cases for the second consecutive day on Saturday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
It came after the U.S. set a new daily record on Friday, beating the previous record set in July when 77,000 cases were recorded.
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