US Vice President Pence and his wife test negative for coronavirus

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Mar 22 (PTI) US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have tested negative for the deadly novel coronavirus, a top White House official said on Saturday.

Pence and the Second Lady took the test after a staff from his team tested positive for the deadly disease. However, the infected staff was never in direct contact with either Pence or US President Donald Trump.

The name of the infected staffer has not been released.

'Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence,' Katie Miller, the Press Secretary for Pence, said in a tweet on Saturday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 26,000 people and killed 340 people in the country. Coronavirus cases have been reported in all the 50 States in the US and District of Columbia as well as Puerto Rico.

According to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, over 3,00,000 people have globally contracted the virus and over 13,000 have died of the disease.

Earlier, Pence, during a White House press conference said that he was doing well.

'While the White House doctor has indicated that he has no reason to believe that I was exposed and no need to be tested, given the unique position that I have as vice president and as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon,' he said.

Giving details of the infected staffer, Pence said, 'I am pleased to report that he is doing well.

The staffer exhibited 'mild cold-like symptoms' and had not worked at the White House since Monday, he said.

Trump too had taken the coronavirus test last week and tested negative.

The White House has instituted strict provisions for entry of individuals within its premises.

Members of the presidential physicians' team and secret service take temperature of every individual who enter the premises.

The seating arrangements in the White House briefing room too have as been rearranged to maintain social distancing. PTI LKJ RS RS