US elections: VP Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19

Published: 25 October, 2020 13:10 IST | IANS | Washington

Pence's closest political advisers, Marty Obst, had also contracted the virus on October 21

US Vice President Mike Pence
US Vice President Mike Pence

Marc Short, US Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff, has tested positive for COVID-19.

"Today, Marc Short, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process," Xinhua news agency quoted Devin O'Malley, Pence's press secretary, said in a statement on Saturday.

"Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health. While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for essential personnel," O'Malley added.

Short has travelled extensively with Pence.

In addition, Bloomberg News reported earlier on Saturday that one of Pence's closest political advisers, Marty Obst, contracted the virus on October 21.

Despite not being a government employee, Obst has frequently been in contact with the vice president, the outlet said, adding that he has not been in proximity with Pence since about a week ago.

On Saturday evening, Pence delivered a campaign speech in Tallahassee, Florida, during which Short did not accompany him.

Short was with the Vice President on October 23 for a rally in Indiana.

Pence has kept an aggressive travel schedule in recent weeks, campaigning tirelessly for the Trump-Pence ticket as the November 3 Election Day approaches.

He is expected to travel to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Minnesota and other states in the coming days.

The Vice President's spokeswoman, Katie Miller, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in May and has recovered since.

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