22 March 2020
Washington: US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have both tested negative for the novel coronavirus, his spokesperson announced.
"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," Xinhua news agency quoted Katie Miller, the Vice President's Press Secretary, as saying in a tweet on Saturday night.
Pence underwent the test earlier in the day following Friday's announcement by his office saying that one of his staff members tested positive for the disease.
Noting that the White House doctor had "no reason to believe" that Pence was exposed to the sickened staffer, the Vice President said at a news conference before the test that given his "unique position", he and his wife will check whether they contracted the virus.
Pence told reporters that the staff member was "doing well" with "mild" cold-like symptoms for a day and a half, and that the staffer had not been at the White House since Monday.
He reiterated neither President Donald Trump nor himself had direct contact with the staff member, and said that health authorities have traced his contacts.
Trump has already tested negative for the virus, the White House said last week.
Pence and Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed to Americans that they do not have to get tested if they are not displaying symptoms in order to preserve resources.
The tests came after Trump had received Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his entourage at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month.
Trump dined with Bolsonaro and his press secretary, who later tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian President has also tested negative for the virus.
As of Sunday, the US has reported 26,138 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, with a total of 340 deaths, according to the latest updates b the Maryland-based John hopkins University.