Donald Trump’s chief of staff contracts Covid-19

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows (AP)
14:55pm, Sat 07 Nov 2020
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US President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

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

Mr Meadows travelled with Mr Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early on Wednesday morning without a mask as Mr Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count.

Coronavirus graphic (PA Graphics)

He had been one of the close aides around Mr 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 West Wing, coming less than a fortnight after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, and other aides tested positive for the virus.

Mr Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October, after Mr 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.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows (AP)

Mr Trump has repeatedly said that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.

The United States set a record of more than 126,400 confirmed cases in a single day on Friday.

The seven-day rolling average of new daily cases in the US is approaching 100,000 for the first time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Total US cases since the start of the pandemic are nearing 10 million, and confirmed cases globally are approaching 50 million.

Worldwide infection numbers are also setting records. The world reached 400,000 daily confirmed cases on October 15; 500,000 on October 26, and 600,000 on Friday.

The seven-day rolling average for daily deaths in the US rose in the past two weeks from 772 on October 23 to 911 on Friday. Those numbers were higher in the spring and August.

The global death toll hit a daily record of 11,024 confirmed deaths on Wednesday.

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