Robert O'Brien "has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site," the White House said

By Claudia Harmata
July 27, 2020 02:30 PM
President Donald Trump (left) and his national security adviser, Robert O'Brien
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19, the White House said Monday.

"He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site," the administration said in a statement Monday morning. "There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted."

O'Brien, 54, is the highest profile Trump official to contract the coronavirus.

Further information was not provided about how, when or where O'Brien contracted the illness. But CNN reports that he has been working from home since he "abruptly left the White House" on Thursday and had recently traveled to Europe, where he was seen not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.

His office is located near the president's.

According to ABC News, Trump, 74, and O'Brien's last public appearance together was during a visit to the U.S. Southern Command in Miami on July 10.

Per the White House, Trump receives rapid coronavirus tests on a daily basis and administration officials close to the president are also regularly tested.

President Donald Trump
Gustavo Caballero/Getty

O'Brien is not the first person close to Trump to have tested positive for the coronavirus.  Eight of the president's campaign staffers tested positive in connection with a large-scale June rally in Oklahoma.

Several Secret Service personnel who were on site for that event were also ordered to self-quarantine after two of their colleagues tested positive.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, a campaign adviser who is dating the president's son Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for the contagious respiratory virus in early July. Last week, she visited the White House and met with President Trump for a virtual fundraising event on Tuesday, two and a half weeks after she tested positive.

Vice President Mike Pence's spokeswoman tested positive in May.

News of O'Brien's infection comes days after the president announced he canceled his Republican National Convention celebration that was slated for Florida in late August.

Trump made the announcement after weeks of uncertain back-and-forth with state officials in North Carolina and in Florida about whether Republicans could hold an in-person nomination during the pandemic.

"I looked at my team and I said, 'The timing for this event is not right,' " he told reporters Thursday. "It's just not right with what's been happening."

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