Inner Circle Infection as Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien Tests Positive for Covid-19 – Eoin Higgins (07/28/2020)

Robert O’Brien, National Security adviser to President Donald Trump, is self-isolating Monday after testing positive for coronavirus—an infection that raises questions about the health and safety of key White House officials.

In a statement, the White House said there was no danger to Trump or Vice President Mike Pence and that O’Brien is working from home. 

“There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president,” the White House said. “The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted.”

According to Bloomberg:

O’Brien contracted the virus while taking a few days off from work, spending time with his family. Since his diagnosis, O’Brien has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council, doing most of his work by phone, another person said.

As Politico reported, O’Brien and deputy Mark Pottinger were early White House proponents of taking aggressive action to combat the disease:

In March, O’Brien and Pottinger took steps to prevent a potential outbreak within the NSC by dividing the council’s front-office support staff in half and running each half from different offices. Pottinger, whose brother is a virologist, has been one of the most vocal proponents of measures like masking and temperature checks among the White House staff.

News Monday of the diagnosis follows last weeks’s announcement by the president that next month’s Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida will be cancelled and held virtually due to the pandemic and a surge in cases around the country as states reel from outbreaks in the wake of reopenings and a broader failure to address the crisis.

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