Several attendees at the election night party said they had not been contacted by the White House for tracing purposes, even though they were in the room with Meadows and Carson.
Andrew Hughes, Carson’s chief of staff, said in an email to HUD staff that Carson is “resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better.” Anyone who had been in contact with Carson last week is in the process of being notified, Hughes wrote, and “all precautions are being taken.”
Coalter Baker, Carson’s deputy chief of staff, said in an interview that before election night, Carson was traveling in his personal capacity on behalf of the Trump campaign and has not been in recent contact with agency staff. Carson has not stepped foot inside the agency since Oct. 26, Baker said.
Carson told The Post he contracted the virus “probably somewhere, out there in the universe” but it is not certain how. “I was on a bus tour last week. I was at the White House on election night, so there are multiple possibilities,” he said.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has been photographed mingling at indoor gatherings without a mask despite saying in the past that mask-wearing makes a difference in reducing transmission of the coronavirus.
“I think you have seen an increase in mask-wearing at those ceremonies,” Carson said Monday. “You see a lot more masks now. People are becoming convinced that masking is good. But I’m much more concerned with therapeutics. Let’s get this thing under control. Let’s not let it control us.”
Carson’s diagnosis comes days after news of a fresh wave of coronavirus infections at the White House, with Meadows and five other Trump aides receiving positive test results in the time around Election Day.
“I’m kind of shocked how many people say that they’ve done a terrible job,” he said. “I think it’s actually pretty good. Can it be better? Of course, anything can be better. We always learn. It’s called the novel coronavirus for a reason. It’s new.”
Then he appeared to echo Trump’s claim of immunity from the virus now that he’s been diagnosed. “It’s gone now, so I’m very happy,” Carson said. “Theoretically once you’ve had it, you have immunity, but I don’t think that’s fully been worked out yet.”
Josh Dawsey and Paulina Firozi contributed to this report.