An assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump — Nicholas Luna — has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to U.S. media reports.
A report from Bloomberg, which first reported news of Luna’s diagnosis, said the aide tested positive less than 24 hours after Trump was hospitalized for COVID-19.
Global News has reached out to the White House to confirm when exactly Luna tested positive for the virus but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Luna works as a “body man” and assistant to the president, working in close proximity and accompanying Trump to various events.
Earlier this year, Luna married Cassidy Dumbauld, deputy assistant to the president.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, Luna was present during Trump’s trip to Cleveland, Ohio, for the first U.S. presidential debate, and was aboard Air Force One during a trip to Minnesota when White House aide Hope Hicks began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
People familiar with the matter told the paper Luna has tested positive for the virus.
Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus in a tweet early Friday morning.
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Shortly after the diagnosis, Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.
On Saturday, the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said he had gone through a “very concerning” period Friday and faces a “critical” next two days in his fight against COVID-19 at the military hospital.
However, in a video on Saturday, Trump said he was beginning to feel better, adding that he hoped to “be back soon.”
Luna is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle to test positive for the virus in recent days.
A number of other members of the president’s inner circle, including former campaign manager and counsellor Kellyanne Conway, current campaign manager Bill Stepien, senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, have tested positive for the virus.
Christie on Saturday said he was checking into a New Jersey hospital after consulting with his doctors.
“While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure,” he wrote in a tweet.
However, Vice-President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus on Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman said.
The United States remained the epicentre of the virus on Sunday, with more than 7.3 million confirmed cases, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Since the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, it has claimed 209,399 lives in the U.S.
–With a file from Global News’ Sean Boynton
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