White House memo to staffers: 'We are requiring everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering'

David Caplan
May 11, 2020 - 3:37 pm
Donald Trump

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The White House sent out a memo to staffers Monday informing them that they are now required to wear a face covering upon entering the West Wing, according to multiple reports, just days after Mike Pence aide Katie Miller tested positive for coronavirus, prompting at least three members of the White House coronavirus task force to quarantine.

“We are requiring everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering,” the memo says, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Staffers will not be required to wear a mask when seated at their desks, as long as they are social distancing, the memo reportedly said.

According to CNN, the memo said face coverings will be available in the medical office.

The memo encouraged staffers to follow social distancing guidelines and placed restrictions on guests.

The memo's distribution comes after Miller's positive test result on Friday. Miller is the husband of Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller. 

Her positive test result prompted several people who had come in contact with her to get tested and self-quarantine, including 6 colleagues who de-planed an Iowa-bound flight Friday shortly before it took off to go get tested. Their results were all negative.

CDC director Robert Redfield and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn will also quaranitine for the next two weeks after exposure to a coronavirus-positive White House staffer, their respective agencies announced. The White House did not identify the staffer, but in the case of Hahn, POLITICO said it was Miller. 

During a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Trump said Katie Miller would be "absolutely fine." 

"It can happen. It's the hidden enemy, remember that," Trump said of Miller's positive test. The president also said the memo requiring staffers to wear face coverings was sent out at his behest. 

"Were you the one who required that, sir?" a reporter asked.

"Yeah I did, I required it, yes," he responded. 

Asked why White House staffers and visitors hadn’t been required to wear masks up until Monday, Trump said is is not generally "close to anybody."

"If (staffers are) a certain distance from me or they’re a certain distance from each other they do (wear face coverings)," he said.