Ben Carson, the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, has tested positive for COVID-19.
“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,” deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker told TheWrap.
Carson immediately began trending on Twitter Monday after reports first came out about his diagnosis. ABC News reported that last Tuesday, Carson attended an election night event at the White House, as was chief of staff Mark Meadows, who tested positive on Saturday.
Carson, a surgeon who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, is also on the White House’s coronavirus task force.
PBS News’ Yamiche Alcindor reported that “several aides” worried about Tuesday’s event at the White House, concerned it would be a “super spreader” situation but that they had to go to “save face.”
In recent weeks, a series of top Republicans have tested positive for COVID-19, including President Donald Trump, who was hospitalized in early October. First lady Melania Trump also tested positive, as did White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and a number of Republican senators. The president’s son Baron also tested positive last month.
COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the United States, with Utah governor Gary Herbert issuing a statewide mask and social distancing mandate on Sunday as hospitals are overwhelmed.