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Donald Trump’s chief of staff contracts Covid-19

He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus.

Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows
Image: DPA/PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

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

Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early on 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 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.

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.

Covid-19 cases in the US have increased more than 50% in the past two weeks, and the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose from 61,166 on 22 October to 94,625 on 5 November.

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