Brynn Anderson / AP
Vice President Pence – who tested negative for the coronavirus – has been working from home rather than entering the White House compound since President Trump was diagnosed with the virus late Thursday, a senior administration official told NPR.
“Out of an abundance of caution, he worked at the residence of the Naval Observatory vice president to avoid any potential exposure to the virus,” the official told Franco Ordoñez, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Pence conducted a White House coronavirus task force conference call on Saturday from his residence.
Despite several confirmed cases of the virus inside the White House, Pence, who is next in line to become interim president if necessary, said he intends to keep his usual schedule in the coming days.
On Monday, he plans to travel to Salt Lake City ahead of the vice presidential debate against Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Wednesday, the administration official said. It is also scheduled to make appearances in key states following the debate, starting Thursday in Arizona.
Pence White House physician Dr. Jesse Schonau released a statement on Friday saying he “does not need to quarantine” because “close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID, including the president, is not considered Donald J. Trump “.
This comes a week after Pence attended an event in the White House Rose Garden where Trump announced the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. At least eight people who were at the event – including the president,; first lady Melania Trump; and Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina – have tested positive for the virus ever since.
On Saturday night, Trump tweeted an update video from Walter Reed Medical Center saying he is feeling “much better now” but that the next few days have been particularly crucial to his recovery.
“We are working hard to get me back,” Trump said. “I have to go back because we still have to make America great again. We did a great job, but we still have steps to take and we have to finish that job. And I’ll be back – I think I’ll be back soon.”