Trump's National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tests positive for Covid-19

Mr O'Brien is the most senior US official to test positive for the virus

White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien walks South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 10, 2020. AP
White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien walks South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 10, 2020. AP

US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for coronavirus and is isolating at home, a White House official confirmed on Monday.

Mr O’Brien had not been in proximity with staffers or with President Donald Trump, the official said in an email.

"He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site. There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted,” the official said.

Mr O'Brien assumed his position last September and regularly briefs the president. He was last seen in public with Mr Trump on July 10 during a trip to Florida where they visited the US Southern Command briefing on narcotics trafficking.

White House officials have tested positive too. In May, Katie Miller, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, tested positive for the virus, along with two other staffers who work in the White House.

Mr O'Brien recently returned from Europe, where he met senior French, German, British and Italian officials in Paris during the second week of July to discuss China’s role in the pandemic, among other issues.

The Trump administration continues to grapple with its response to the virus.

An Associated Press Poll released on Sunday gave Mr Trump only 32 per cent approval in fighting the pandemic.

The US now has more than four million cases and the death toll has reached nearly 150,000, according to a tally by Worldometer. Cases have continued to spike in states like California, Florida and Texas.

Mr Trump cancelled plans to hold the Republican national convention plans in Jacksonville, Florida in late August. Experts are recommending stricter lockdown measures in the US as Congress debates passing a second stimulus bill.

Updated: July 27, 2020 06:14 PM

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