The second White House coronavirus cluster is growing with Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, testing positive for COVID-19 Monday.
“Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus,” said Deputy Chief of Staff Coalter Baker. “He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
Despite being a medical doctor and former neurosurgeon, as well as sitting on the White House coronavirus task force, Carson has actively flouted health warnings to wear a mask and socially distance to stop the spread of the virus, attending multiple Trump campaign events and a maskless party at the White House on the night of the presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden.
Carson’s diagnosis comes just three days after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tested positive.
At least six Trump aides and officials have now tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, the second wave of infection to hit the White House after the president, first lady, and more than 30 others were infected a month ago following a superspreader event in the Rose Garden to announce Amy Coney Barrett as a nominee to the Supreme Court.
When the president became sick, after actively flouting health regulations, he had access to a number of treatments not available to everyday citizens, including Regeneron’s REGN-COV2, an antibody cocktail that only a handful of people had previously trialled. Trump ally and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who also got sick at the White House super spreader event and was hospitalized, received the same VIP treatment and got REGN-COV2. It is unclear which therapeutics or medications Carson has received.
Carson appeared regularly without a mask at several preelection Trump campaign events, including a rally in Michigan on Oct. 30 and an indoor political fundraiser in Virginia on Oct. 19, flouting local rules which insisted on masks being worn at indoor public events.
The third wave of the coronavirus is currently sweeping the country, with US cases nearing 10 million, hospitalizations hitting record numbers, and 237,000 Americans already killed by the virus.