"Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine," the White House advisor said in a statement Tuesday

By Ashley Boucher
October 07, 2020 12:17 AM
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Stephen Miller
| Credit: MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Stephen Miller is the latest White House official to test positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Over the last five days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday,"  the senior White House aide said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE Tuesday evening. "Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine."

Miller, who is known for being behind Trump's immigration policies, was on Air Force One with Donald Trump and advisor Hope Hicks last week, CNN reported. Miller also reportedly helped prep Trump for the presidential debate last week.

Trump and Melania Trump tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

Miller is just one of several people close to the president and the White House to test positive for the contagious and deadly virus, including Kellyanne Conway, Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Tom Thillis, Sen. Mike Lee, and others who were all at the outdoor ceremony where Trump nominated federal judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Sept. 26, and event that appears to be a "super-spreader" of the virus.

Hicks, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have all also tested positive.

Miller's wife Katie Miller, who is Mike Pence's press secretary, contracted the virus earlier this year and has since recovered.

Trump spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he received treatment for the illness, including antivirals, steroids and supplemental oxygen.

He returned to the White House on Monday evening, removing his mask for a photo op despite him still having COVID-19. Following several moments, Trump gave cameras a thumbs-up and a salute before heading inside to record a video message.

Donald Trump arrives back at the White House
| Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

Trump urged people in his message not to let COVID-19 "dominate your lives" — ignoring the fact he was given leading medical care not available to the average patient, including experimental treatment.

More than 210,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, and more than 7.4 million have tested positive for the highly contagious and deadly virus.

Speaking about his weekend in the hospital, Trump continued: "I went, I didn't feel so good and two days ago — I could have left two days ago — two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time, I said this recently. Better than 20 years ago. Don't let it dominate, don't let it take over your lives."

Seemingly defending both his flouting of social distancing and masks since the spring and his decision to remove his mask, Trump said: "We're going back to work, we'll be out front. As your leader, I had to do that."

"I know there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front, I led," he contended. "Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk, there's a danger, but that's okay."

"And now I'm better — and maybe I'm immune, I don't know," Trump said. It remains unclear if someone who has been infected with COVID-19 is then immune, and some health experts say that it is possible to contract it more than once.

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