Weeks after President Donald Trump and dozens of people around him were infected with the novel coronavirus, the virus has now reportedly reached the chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence.
Marc Short, who serves as Pence’s chief of staff, and several other staffers have reportedly been diagnosed with Covid-19.
In addition, Marty Obst, a longtime political adviser to Pence, was also recently diagnosed with the disease, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was relying on information from people with knowledge of the situation. CNN on Sunday put the total spread around the vice president's circle at five so far, noting that Pence and his wife tested negative for the virus on Sunday.
The news comes just days before the Nov. 3 election day and in the final stretch of campaigning.
It also comes as nationwide cases of Covid-19 have been on the rise, worrying health experts that fears of a new surge during cold and flu season are becoming a reality.
As of Sunday morning, the total known diagnoses of the disease have risen to nearly 8.6 million and total deaths are around 225,000, according to the Johns Hopkins disease-tracking map.
"We are not going to control the pandemic," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday, adding that, "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas."
Trump revealed on Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for Covid-19, but after a team of doctors aggressively treated him with antiviral and antibody drugs, he appeared to quickly recover.
In the weeks around Trump’s diagnosis, a growing number of people near the president had tested positive for the virus, including Hope Hicks, the White House aide whose diagnosis; another aide, Stephen Miller; White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Trump’s personal aide Nick Luna; Kellyanne Conway, the former counselor to president; as well as a host of other lawmakers and politicians, including Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, who was in the hospital for around a week, but since recovered.
Correction: An earlier version of this story overstated the number of deaths attributed to Covid-19.