Covid-19 spreads around Donald Trump's team as aide Stephen Miller tests positive

7 October 2020, 08:11

Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller tested positive for the virus
Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller tested positive for the virus. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Top Trump aide Stephen Miller has tested positive for Covid-19, joining the growing list of White House officials to contract the virus.

More than a dozen members of the president's close inner circle have now tested positive for coronavirus.

In a statement, Mr Miller said: “Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday.

"Today, I tested positive for Covid-19 and am in quarantine.”

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Earlier this year, Mr Miller’s wife, Katie Miller, who is Mike Pence’s press secretary, contracted the virus.

She had been in Salt Lake City with Mr Pence where he is preparing to debate Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, but she left as soon as she found out about her husband's diagnosis, officials said.

Mr Miller is a top policy adviser and Trump speechwriter who has been an architect of the president's "America First" foreign policy and restrictive immigration measures.

He was also one of the most ardent defenders of the administration’s policy to separate children from parents.

On Wednesday, just two days before President Trump announced he had Covid-19, Mr Miller was seen boarding Marine One, the president’s helicopter, when it left the White House to fly to Joint Base Andrews.

He boarded the helicopter with other top advisers Hope Hicks, Dan Scovino and Jared Kushner. Hope Hicks has since tested positive for coronavirus.

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Elsewhere in the government, the scope of the outbreak is still being uncovered.

On Tuesday, the nation's top military leaders including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and the vice chairman, General John Hyten, were in quarantine after exposure to Admiral Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard.

It was not known how Mr Ray contracted the virus, but he attended an event for military families at the White House on September 27.

Meanwhile, Trump has tweeted his eagerness to return to the campaign trail as he continues to make progress in his recovery from Covid-19.

Mr Trump returned to the White House on Monday and continues to recover behind closed doors as more of aides tested positive, including one of his closest advisers Stephen Miller.

Meanwhile, the president declared there would be no action before the election on economic-stimulus legislation - an announcement that came not long after the Federal Reserve chairman said such help was essential for recovery with the nation reeling from the human and economic cost of the pandemic.

As for Mr Trump's own recovery, his doctor, Navy Commander Sean Conley said in a letter that the president had a "restful" night at the White House and "reports no symptoms".

Four weeks away from Election Day, and Mr Trump is eager to project strength and tweeted on Tuesday morning that he was planning to attend next week's debate with Democrat Joe Biden in Miami and "It will be great!"

Mr Biden, for his part, said he and Mr Trump "shouldn't have a debate" as long as the president remains Covid positive.