US Vice President Mike Pence is not in quarantine and plans to be at the White House today, a spokesman said, despite media reports that Mr Pence was self-isolating after a staffer tested positive for the coronavirus. 

"Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine," spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement. 

He added that Mr Pence "has tested negative every single day". 

The Trump administration has no plans to keep President Donald Trump and Mr Pence apart, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, as concerns rise about the spread of the coronavirus within the White House. 

Mr Trump told reporters on Friday that Mr Pence's spokeswoman, Katie Miller, had tested positive for the virus, a day after news that Mr Trump’s personal valet also had tested positive. 

Mr Trump said he himself had not been in contact with Ms Miller, who is married to White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, but that she had spent time with the vice president. 

Both Mr Trump and Mr Pence have drawn criticism for not wearing face coverings despite a recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to do so in certain public settings. 


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Mr Trump has said he would not wear a mask and has not publicly worn one to any of his events during the pandemic, but told reporters last week he tried some on behind the scenes during his visit to a Honeywell International Inc mask factory in Arizona. 

A reporter with Bloomberg tweeted yesterday that Mr Pence was self-isolating away from the White House following his Ms MIller's diagnosis, prompting Mr Pence's office to issue the statement. NBC News reported that Mr Pence was putting "a little distance" between himself and others over the weekend. 

Three senior officials guiding the US response to the coronavirus pandemic also were in self-quarantine on Saturday after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for the disease, their agencies and spokesmen said. 

The officials are Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, and US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn. 

US Senator Lamar Alexander, who was due to hold a videoconference hearing with the administration officials tomorrow, also is self-quarantined after a member of his staff tested positive for the disease, his office said. 

Mr Alexander, 79, a Republican, has no symptoms but "will self-quarantine in Tennessee for 14 days," his chief of staff said in a statement.