“Today, Vice President-General Mark Short tested positive for COVID-19, initiated isolation and assisted in the communication tracking process,” Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley said in a statement. “Both Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence tested negative for COVID-19 today, and they are in good health.”
The statement went on to say, “Although Vice President Benz is considered a close associate of Mr. Short, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in consultation with the White House Medical Division in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential staff.”
On Saturday, Benz traveled to Florida for campaign rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee. Vice President Marine Dove walked across Dormac with a mask and boarded Air Force Two. Benz rarely wears a mask over the boarding, and did not wander to the top of the stairs before climbing on Saturday.
Benz emerged from the Air Force Two in Florida without a mask, went down the stairs and jogged across the Dormack, pumping fist as he approached the stage. The Vice President’s Office released the statement after he landed back at the Andrews Air Force Base.
News that Benz’s close aide has reduced the corona virus comes just 10 days before election day, amid campaign stops for Benz across the country last week, including trips to Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.
Short is seen on the campaign trail to actively avoid the use of masks for several months, including traveling in Air Force Two earlier this week. Neither Benz nor Short wore a mask during the Benz trip on Thursdays and Fridays.
As head of Benz’s staff, which leads the White House Corona virus task force, Short has been a key contributor to the American Corona virus response. He is said to have supported the economy’s first approach to the epidemic.
Although Benz has been in close contact with Shorts until recently Friday, the vice president plans to continue the campaign. Late Saturday, the Vice President’s Office released its schedule for Sunday, which will include more visits and comments to the campaign meeting in North Carolina.
The short diagnosis comes just weeks after a positive test by President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and several aides and White House staff. Pence, who teamed up with Short, pursued a serious campaign schedule that did not isolate him, saying in a statement at the time that his doctor did not need to do so because he had no close contact with Trump or other people who tested positive.
Since the White House erupted and Trump was admitted to hospital, there has been no significant change in Trump or Benz campaign events, with little social distance and some masks. Attendees at Saturday’s Benz show in Lakeland, Florida, were very low.
Short Confirmation is facing another upsurge in litigation country cases.
This story is updated with the Vice President’s recent trip and additional information.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman contributed to the report.