Fauci joins CDC director, FDA commissioner in quarantining after WH staffer tests positive for coronavirus

David Caplan
May 09, 2020 - 10:15 pm

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx listens as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-La., about the coronavirus response, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Make that three members of the White House coronavirus task force quarantining.

The latest is Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who told CNN Saturday night he will begin a "modified quarantine" after making a "low risk" contact with a White House staffer who tested positive for coronavirus.

The "low risk" description means he was not in close proximity to the person when that person was known to be positive for the virus.

Earlier Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its director, Dr. Robert Redfield, would be self-quarantining for 14 days because he was exposed to someone at the White House who tested positive for coronavirus.

And hours before that, on Friday night, the Food and Drug Administration announced that its commissioner, Stephen Hahn, was self-quarantining for 14 days after exposure to an infected individual at the White House, as well. 

Fauci's quarantine is different from that of Redfield and Hahn: While he will stay at home and work from home wearing a mask continually for 14 days, he told CNN he might also go to his office at the NIH, where he will work largely by himself in a near-empty office. He also will be tested every day, he said, adding his test on Friday was negative. 

Fauci, along with Redfield and Hahn, are all scheduled to testify before a Senate panel on Tuesday. According to Fox News, Fauci will attend the hearing, while Redfield and Hahn will attend the hearing via video conference.

In regards to Redfield,  a CDC spokesperson told the Washington Post Saturday, "CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has been determined to have had a low risk exposure on May 6 to a person at the White House who has COVID-19. He is feeling fine, and has no symptoms. He will be teleworking for the next two weeks."

The spokesperson added, "In the event Dr. Redfield must go to the White House to fulfill any responsibilities as part of White House Coronavirus Task Force work, he will follow the safety practices set out by the CDC for those who may have been exposed. Those guidelines call for Dr. Redfield and anyone working on the Task Force at the White House to have their temperature taken and screened for symptoms each day, wear a face covering, and distance themselves from others."

As for the FDA's Hahn, the White House would only say that Hahn had come into contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus, but multiple outlets, including POLITICO, cited Mike Pence aide Katie Miller -- the husband of President Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller -- as the individual. 

Hahn tested negative for the virus after he learned of the contact, said FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo.

He wrote a note to staff on Friday to alert them to the contact.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stephen Hahn. (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center via AP)

Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks while U.S. President Donald Trump listens during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force at the White House on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)