Robert O'Brien: Trump's national security adviser tests positive for coronavirus

Key White House official becomes closest person to the president to contract Covid-19

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 27 July 2020 15:07 BST
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Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a family event and has been self-isolating at his home while working remotely, according to reports.

The 54-year-old Republican is the fourth national security adviser to serve in the White House under Mr Trump, and has held the position since 2019. His diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg News’ White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs.

He was the closest White House official to the president known to have contracted the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 149,000 Americans since the beginning of the global pandemic.

Mr O’Brien’s office in the White House was situated close to the Oval Office, Bloomberg News reported, as well as an office occupied by the vice president in the West Wing.

The White House has significant testing and tracing capabilities for its own staff and key officials close to the president, who are reportedly tested daily for Covid-19.

The White House confirmed Mr O'Brien's diagnosis in a statement to The Independent, saying he has mild symptoms associated with the virus.

"National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for COVID-19," the White House said. "He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating."

The White House statement also said "there is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President" and that "the work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted" as Mr O'Brien works from a "secure" off site location.

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