Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Neurosurgeon, Ben Carson has tested positive for coronavirus.
His deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker confirmed to CNN on Monday morning.
“Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,” Baker said in a statement.
An aide added that Carson, 69, tested positive Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after experiencing symptoms. He is no longer at the hospital.
Carson’s coronavirus status is coming on a day the United States passed 10 million coronavirus cases.
There have been at least 10,018,278 cases of Covid-19 in the US, and at least 237,742 people have died.
So far on Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 50,123 new cases and 172 deaths. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases.
Carson’s chief of staff Andrew Hughes disclosed the secretary’s positive diagnosis in an all-staff letter, writing:
“He is resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better.”
Hughes also said staff would be notified if they’d been in contact with Carson and that “all precautions are being taken.
Carson attended the election night party where White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and nearly every other attendee was not wearing a mask.
Meadows and four others in Trump’s orbit subsequently tested positive last week.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, was spotted maskless at several Trump campaign events in the lead up to Election Day, including a Trump campaign rally in Waterford Township, Michigan, on October 30.
Carson’s diagnosis was first reported by ABC News.
Social media posts by Carson and Trump supporters indicate that the Housing secretary was traveling to campaign for the President in the southeast before Election Day.
Black Voices for Trump posts indicate that Carson and his wife, Candy, traveled to events in Florida and Georgia ahead of the election.
Masks went largely unworn during the events. And the Carsons were photographed without masks, posing shoulder-to-shoulder with supporters.
And a Facebook post from the Carsons on November 1 states: “Over the past few days we have attended many political events in our personal capacities.”
The new set of positive coronavirus diagnoses within the President’s orbit comes a month after Trump’s own bout with the disease.
After Meadows and four other staffers tested positive last week, Trump campaign staffers told CNN they were furious that the campaign never informed them about positive cases among staff. Meadows had been in the office multiple times that week without a mask.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 increases as individuals get older, and that 8-in-10 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the US has been among adults aged 65 and older.
Men are also more likely than women to suffer severe illness or die from coronavirus, according to the CDC. (CNN)