Vice President Mike Pence has returned to the campaign trail after key staffers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with his team taking a “thoughtful” and “medically informed” approach to his travel this week in the final stretch until Election Day.
A senior aide to the vice president told Fox News that the team is making their travel decisions and coordinating their campaign events in consultation with the White House Medical Unit.
The aide said the vice president is tested “every day” for COVID-19, and that he is being frequently monitored for symptoms.
Over the weekend, Pence’s office announced that his chief of staff Marc Short, along with three other staffers, tested positive for COVID-19. Last Tuesday, the vice president’s outside political adviser, Marty Oates, also tested positive for coronavirus.
The aide told Fox News that three staffers who tested positive did so after they had already been in quarantine due to being in close contact with Short.
The vice president, himself, has not gone into quarantine and is planning to continue campaigning throughout the week with stops in Minnesota on Monday, two stops in North Carolina and one in South Carolina on Tuesday, stops in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan on Wednesday and Iowa and Nevada on Thursday.
The aide told Fox News that things are “not status quo” after Short and the staffers tested positive, and that the vice president’s team is “taking a science-driven approach to ensure that contact is limited while we are in these states out of an abundance of caution.”
“We’re going the extra distance to ensure people traveling and people at the events are safe,” the aide said.
The aide told Fox News that the vice president’s team has arranged for Air Force Two to land and taxi Pence “right to where the speech is being given.” The aide said Pence runs to the event stage and gets up to deliver his address.
Typically, Pence would participate in a socially distanced rope line following campaign speeches, but since Short tested positive, the vice president has ceased those interactions with voters. After campaign events, Pence typically would do regional media interviews with local television reporters, but the aide said those have been canceled since Short’s positive COVID-19 test.
“He wears a mask everywhere and takes it off when he gets up on stage to speak,” the aide said. “He goes right from either Marine One or from the motorcade to his cabin, and he doesn’t have visitors in his cabin.”
The aide added that the team traveling with the vice president has a “much smaller footprint” than prior to staffers testing positive, and said that the team has “done the necessary contact tracing around Marc and Marty’s positive tests.”
Both President Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month. Neither Pence nor second lady Karen Pence have tested positive to date.