Another member of Trump’s cabinet just tested positive for COVID-19

If you’re already looking forward to a future when the news cycle won’t be filled with COVID-19 and the Trump administration, that day is not today. Ben Carson, the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, has contracted COVID-19 after attending an indoor election-night watch party at the White House (via Business Insider). ABC White House reporter Katherine Faulders tweeted the news this morning, including that “His deputy chief of staff says he’s ‘in good spirits & feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.'”

This makes Carson the seventh person in Trump’s orbit to have tested positive in the days before and after the election, including Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, and several White House aides (via The New York Times). Meadows also attended the election-night party at the White House, which reportedly included several hundred people gathered in the East Room for several hours, many of them not wearing masks.

Why this news feels like recent history repeating itself

The news of Carson’s positive test comes only weeks after another indoor White House celebration confirming the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett led to several Trump advisors and U.S. senators contracting the virus (via CNBC). That indoor gathering was touted a “super-spreader event” by infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, though he has yet to comment on this latest outbreak or the more recent indoor White House party that may have played a part in it.

Carson tested positive Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, though he is no longer at the hospital according to his chief of staff, who stated “He is resting at his house and is already beginning to feel better.” In the days leading up to the election party, the retired neurosurgeon and member of the White House coronavirus task force was seen without a mask at several Trump campaign events, even taking photos with supporters shoulder-to-shoulder (via CNN).

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