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White House Requires Staff to Wear Masks in West Wing

The directive is not expected to apply to Trump or Pence, according to the New York Times

Over a month after the CDC recommended wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the White House is now requiring staff who enter the West Wing to wear facial coverings, according to a Monday memo sent to staff. The directive is not expected to apply to President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, the New York Times reported.

The memo comes after Katie Miller, the White House coronavirus task force spokeswoman and press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, and one of President Donald Trump’s personal valets both tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

“Unless you absolutely need to conduct in-person business in the West Wing, we respectfully ask you to avoid unnecessary visits,” the memo said. “Staff who sit in the West Wing are not required to wear a facial covering while at their desk if they are appropriately socially distanced from their colleagues.”

Meanwhile, other top health officials have begun to quarantine after making contact with an unidentified infected White House staffer. Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus task force member and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will be in a “modified quarantine,” according to CNN, after coming into “low risk” contact with the staffer. But Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, will be in the full two-week quarantine after being exposed to that individual.