Hope Hicks tests positive for coronavirus

Hope Hicks on Sept. 30, pictured with (L-R) White House aides Nicholas Luna, Dan Scavino and Senior Advisors Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's adviser Hope Hicks has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Hicks, one of the president's closest aides, traveled with Trump on Air Force One to and from Tuesday's presidential debate. She also accompanied Trump to his Minnesota rally on Wednesday.

  • Hicks, who like other advisers with close access to the Trump, was regularly tested for COVID-19. Her diagnosis is the latest example of how close the virus can get to the president despite precautions that are place.
  • Bloomberg News' Jennifer Jacobs first reported that Hicks tested positive.

What they're saying: “Contract tracing has been done and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made,” a White House official tells Axios.

  • “The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said.
  • “White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current C.D.C. guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the president is traveling,” Deere added.

The big picture: Trump has been criticized for holding large rallies that violate social distancing guidelines through much of the pandemic, and for refusing to wear a mask in many public appearances.

  • Several people in the White House have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the U.S., including national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Vice President Pence's press secretary Katie Miller, and one of President Trump's personal valets.

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