Vice President Pence tests negative for coronavirus, White House says

Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY
President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence speak during a briefing at the White House on March 21, 2020.

WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have both tested negative for the coronavirus, his office announced Saturday.

"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," his spokeswoman, Katie Miller, tweeted.

The vice president is 60 and his wife is 63.

Both were tested Saturday, the day after the White House announced that an aide to Mike Pence had tested positive.

The vice president said that while the White House physician had no reason to believe that the Pences had been exposed, they were tested anyway "given the unique position I have."

Pence is leading the administration’s coronavirus task force and has been a regular presence at President Donald Trump's side in recent weeks.

Trump was tested for the virus a week ago and it came back negative.

The White House has not identified the aide who has COVID-19 or said where the person worked. Pence said at a White House briefing Saturday that neither he nor the president had direct contact with the aide, who has not been to the White House since Monday.

"He is doing well," Pence said. "He had mild, cold-like symptoms for about a day-and-a-half."

The illness was the first such infection within the top rungs of the administration.

During the White House's daily briefings, Pence has emphasized that the priority for testing should be for those with symptoms and health care workers. His office has also recommended that people stop shaking hands, although both Pence and Trump continued to do so after issuing that guidance.

While the top two civilian officials at the Pentagon are staying apart in case one of them gets infected, that is not happening in the White House.

Coronavirus updates: Gas prices at lowest in years, Italy death toll surges, world tops 300K cases

More: Stimulus talks continue in Senate; Pence staffer tests positive for coronavirus - live updates

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Pence and wife, Karen, test negative, White House says