28 de noviembre de 2020
Hispanic World

Covid-19 cases around Pence rise to 5, but he maintains travel schedule

Washington, Oct 25 (efe-epa).- The new outbreak of Covid-19 in the White House has now affected five people around Vice President Mike Pence, but his office says he is planning to maintain his election campaign travel plans, a decision that has sparked controversy around the country.

 White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows waves to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, 25 October 2020. EFE/EPA/YURI GRIPAS / POOL

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows waves to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, 25 October 2020. EFE/EPA/YURI GRIPAS / POOL

Washington, Oct 25 (efe-epa).- The new outbreak of Covid-19 in the White House has now affected five people around Vice President Mike Pence, but his office says he is planning to maintain his election campaign travel plans, a decision that has sparked controversy around the country.

Besides Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, and his political advisor, Marty Obst, whose positive coronavirus tests were confirmed Saturday evening by official sources, at least three other people in the VP's office have tested positive for the sometimes deadly and highly transmissible disease, as reported Sunday by The New York Times and CNN.

Pence tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday along with his wife Karen, but he is planning to continue with his campaign travels nine days before the presidential election, including a trip on Sunday to North Carolina and another on Monday to Minnesota, his office said.

That decision was made despite the fact that Pence has been in close contact with his chief of staff and last week traveled with Obst to participate on Oct. 15 in a fundraising event in Florida that was also attended by President Donald Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday defended Pence's decision to adhere to his campaign travel schedule by saying that the vice president is "essential personnel," and - as such - exempt from the guidelines issued by the country's health experts, and thus he must continue with his activities, including campaigning.

When CNN noted to Meadows that Pence "should quarantine for 14 days," Meadows replied, "He's not just campaigning. He's working," and thus he could continue with his activities.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say that essential workers are permitted to work after exposure to someone who tested positive for Covid-19 if they abide by guidelines such as wearing a facemask, social distancing and being regularly monitored for symptoms.

The White House chief of staff said Pence was wearing a mask and was social distancing.

Meadows went on to say that the administration was "not going to control the pandemic, we are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations," and when asked by CNN why the government was not going to try and get control of the pandemic, the White House chief of staff responded: "Because it is a contagious virus."

The official went on to say that the country is "making efforts to contain it," adding that "What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this."

Meadows and Pence's office said that the White House medical unit had given the "green light" to the VP to continue with his campaign trips, but no doctor at the presidential residence so far has confirmed that assertion.

According to The New York Times, Meadows on Saturday tried to keep secret the information about the positive Covid tests in Pence's office, and he justified his position on Sunday by saying: "When we actually have people's health at risk, sharing personal information is not something that we should do, not something that we do actually do, unless it's the vice president or the president or someone that's very close to them where there's people in harm's way."

Apart from Short and Obst, the other three people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Pence's office have not been publicly identified, and CNN reported that the rest of the vice president's advisors are afraid of being exposed.

This is the second outbreak of Covid-19 in the White House in the past month, after in early October almost 30 people tested positive for the virus, including Trump - who received three days of treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center - first lady Melania Trump, several senators and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

The White House barely made any changes to its protocols to deal with the pandemic after the incident and Trump and Pence immediately resumed their campaign rallies with hundreds, if not thousands, of people in attendance, where there was no social distancing and hardly anyone used facemasks.

According to figures compiled by The Johns Hopkins University, 83,178 confirmed Covid-19 cases were registered on Saturday and more than 85,000 have been registered within the past 24 hours, these figures breaking previous daily records while President Donald Trump continues to claim that the US is "rounding the corner" on the pandemic and that it is "stupid" to keep doing so many Covid-19 tests because it gives the media "something to talk about."

Almost 8.6 million Americans have become infected with the disease since the start of the pandemic and on Sunday the country exceeded 225,000 deaths from the virus, more than any other country.

Histórico de noticias
Iota deals another blow to Colombian archipelago's tourism amid pandemic

By Klarem Valoyes Gutierrez

Trump administration gives OK for Biden transition to formally begin

Washington, Nov 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Monday that he had given the green light to the government to formally allow the transition to...

Pandemic worsens gender violence against women in Ecuador

By Daniela Brik

Trump appeals case tossed in Pennsylvania, hoping to get it to Supreme Court

Washington, Nov 22 (efe-epa).- The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump on Sunday appealed a court decision to throw out his most important...

Iota homeless in Colombia: between exodus and nights in the open

By Klarem Valoyes Gutierrez

Colombian island of Providencia devastated by Iota

Bogotá, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- The Colombian island of Providencia, a 17-square-kilometer paradise in the Caribbean Sea, has been almost entirely devastated by...

Pentagon confirms large troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in January

Washington, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- US Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller on Tuesday officially announced a partial withdrawal of US troops from...

Out-of-control Covid puts Trump up against urgent need to admit his election defeat

By Jairo Mejia

Obama's memoirs, a critical and optimistic look at a divided US

By Lucia Leal

Biden predicts more Covid-19 deaths if Trump continues blocking transition

By Lucia Leal

Hurricane Iota storm surge floods Cartagena streets

(Update 1: Updates headline, lede, adds information about Colombian islands, minor edits)

Kids with cancer, women, reporters: The forgotten ones amid Covid in Mexico

By Miquel Muñoz

Dustin Johnson notches Masters win

Augusta, Georgia, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- US golfer Dustin Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, on Sunday for the first time won the Master's Tournament, notching...

Trump admits Biden's win, then takes it back, insisting on election fraud

By Susana Samhan

Still reeling from Eta, Central America now bracing for Hurricane Iota

Tegucigalpa, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Honduras is on "red alert" for the arrival of Hurricane Iota, which should make landfall as either a very powerful Category...

Pompeo in Paris to meet with Macron on 1st leg of Middle East tour

Paris, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday is in Paris, with a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron scheduled for the first...

El Salvador to aid Guatemala with aircraft to access Eta-hit zones

San Salvador, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- El Salvador's defense minister, Rene Merino Monroy, reported Wednesday that his country will support Guatemala with two...

Thousands anxious about leaving their flooded homes in SE Mexico

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes Gomez

Biden widens popular vote margin as Trump tries to delegitimize his win

Washington, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- The state of Georgia announced Wednesday that it will perform a manual recount of all ballots cast in last week's...

Apple unveils new MacBook Pro, Air, mini models using its M1 chips

By Marc Arcas

US Supreme Court suggests it will not overturn Obamacare

Washington, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Tuesday gave indications that it will allow to stand at least the major part of the 2010 health care...

Biden: Successful transition despite Trump's "embarrassing" defiance

(Update: Releads, recasts)

Dow Jones rockets to intraday high on Pfizer vaccine news, Biden win

By Nora Quintanilla

Esper, ex-defense chief who refused Trump on using Army to quash protests

Washington, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was summarily fired on Monday by Donald Trump, will be remembered for having opposed the...