An FDA spokesman confirmed the self-quarantining of U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn for a couple of weeks as he was exposed to an individual who tested COVID-19 positive.
Michael Felberbaum stated in an email statement that Hahn took a test done immediately and was tested negative for the infection. “As Dr. Hahn wrote in a note to staff today, he recently came into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the FDA spokesman wrote to Reuters on Friday. “Per CDC guidelines, he is now in self-quarantine for the next two weeks.”
Though the name of the person with whom the commissioner came in contact is not confirmed yet, it is suspected that Hahn’s exposure to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller, as reported by Politico earlier, was the reason behind the doubt. Miller tested positive on Friday, raising alarms for the potential spread of the infection within the innermost circle of the White House as she is also the wife of White House’s immigration adviser and speechwriter Stephen Miller.
The diagnosis results were revealed by U.S. President Donald Trump himself in a meeting with the Republican lawmakers on the same day. However, she had tested negative on a day before the positive results. “This is why the whole concept of tests are not necessarily great,” Trump said.
With two back-to-back COVID-19 cases, including one of the president’s own military valets, in the White House has led to the daily testing of both Trump and Mr. Miller to make sure the other members remain safe. However, the tests of both of them have been negative until now post the recent matters reported from inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The virus is in the White House, any way you look at it,” former Homeland Security assistant secretary under Barack Obama, Juliette Kayyem, said. “Whether it’s contained or not, we will know soon enough. But the fact that a place – secured, with access to the best means to mitigate harm – is not able to stop the virus has the potential of undermining confidence in any capacity to defeat it.”