Politics

Ex-Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney self-quarantining over coronavirus concern

Key Points
  • President Trump's outgoing chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is voluntarily self-isolating in South Carolina as he awaits coronavirus test results from someone he recently had contact with. He is teleworking from home.
  • White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has been working from home after being exposed to members of a Brazilian delegation at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. Two officials tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Mulvaney's designated successor, Rep. Mark Meadows, has self-isolated within days after saying he had been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, listens during a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ivan Duque, Colombia's president, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, March 2, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump's outgoing chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is voluntarily self-isolating in South Carolina as he awaits coronavirus test results from someone he recently had contact with.

Mulvaney is "teleworking" from his home while the test results are pending, a White House official told NBC News. Mulvaney himself tested negative last Friday and has no symptoms, the official said Tuesday.

Trump's press secretary Stephanie Grisham also has been working from home after being exposed to members of a Brazilian delegation at the president's Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago two weekends ago. Two officials in that delegation later tested positive for coronavirus.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Mulvaney's niece had contact with one of the Brazilian officials.

Mulvaney "had contact with someone whose test results are pending, so out of an abundance of caution due to his proximity to the president, he's teleworking pending those results," the White House official told NBC News.

Trump on March 6 announced that he would be replacing Mulvaney as White House chief of staff with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

Trump said Mulvaney will become the United States special envoy for Northern Ireland. 

Three days after he was tapped to be  chief of staff, Meadows said he was himself entering self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and her family has been self-quarantining after she had flu-like symptoms, and testing negative for the flu and strep-throat, NBC News reported.  McDaniel has not received the results of her coronavirus test yet, according to an RNC spokeswoman who spoke with NBC.

McDaniel has been in close proximity with Trump in recent weeks.

in a text message to CNBC on Monday, Grisham wrote, "I'm working from home and yes I feel good."  

"With my close proximity to the President, it's better to be safe than sorry," she added. Grisham is also White House communications director.

Trump has been criticized for downplaying the danger of the coronavirus pandemic until fairly recently.

On Jan. 22, in an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen, Trump was asked if there were worries about coronavirus becoming a pandemic.

"No. Not at all," Trump said in the interview at Davos, Switzerland. "And we have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It's going to be just fine."

In late February, he accused Democrats of using coronavirus as a "hoax" to damage him and his administration.

"The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus," he said at a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, last month.

Mar-a-Lago was largely closed Monday for a "thorough deep cleaning," a source familiar with the situation told NBC News.

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