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National security adviser Robert O'Brien tests positive for COVID-19

Trump's national security adviser tests positive for COVID-19
Trump's national security adviser tests posit... 02:06

Washington — National security adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for COVID-19, a White House official confirmed to CBS News.

O'Brien appears to be the highest-ranking official within the Trump administration to become infected with the coronavirus.

The White Houses official said O'Brien has "mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site." The official said neither the president nor Vice President Mike Pence are at risk of exposure. President Trump told reporters he has not seen O'Brien lately.

"The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted," the White House official said.

Bloomberg first reported O'Brien tested positive.

Trump
White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien arrives at Miami International Airport on Friday, July 10, 2020, as he joins President Trump on a trip to Florida. Evan Vucci / AP

Several National Security Council employees told CBS News they did not know anything about O'Brien's positive diagnosis prior to being contacted by media.

It's unclear how O'Brien contracted the coronavirus. He and deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger traveled to Paris earlier this month, during which O'Brien met with his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as other European officials. O'Brien also visited the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Northern France and attended a Bastille Day ceremony.

O'Brien is not the first person working in the White House to have contracted the coronavirus, though he does appear to be the closest adviser to Mr. Trump to test positive. In May, Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, tested positive, and a military aide assigned to the White House as a valet to Mr. Trump also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Last week, a Marine Corps spokesman confirmed a Marine assigned to the president's helicopter squadron tested positive. The Marine was not in contact with Marine One, the president's helicopter.

The coronavirus crisis has in recent weeks worsened in many states across the country, leading governors to reimpose restrictions on businesses and issue mandates requiring people to wear face coverings when in public places. 

There have been more than 4.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 146,000 people have died.

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