07:40 GMT25 October 2020
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    Despite Donald Trump calling to embark on measures to reverse the corona-induced economic malaise, concerns have mounted about the step as top Secret Service and White House officials are understood to be battling the infection.

    Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant has tested positive for COVID-19, one of a slew of prominent White House staffers who have been infected with the novel coronavirus, CNN reported citing an unnamed source.

    The assistant is reported to have been working from home for the past two months, since the self-isolation measures were introduced, which implies the first daughter hasn't been in personal contact with the staffer in some time.

    The assistant joins a range of other employees recently infected with the virus, including Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary and Trump’s valet - a Secret Service member who serves the president his meals. Overall about a dozen members of the Secret Service have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by Yahoo News.

    “It's a little bit strange, but it's one of those things", the president said of the diagnosis of his aide. 

    As the president encourages states to reignite economies and resume regular operations, announcing the gradual easing of lockdown measures, the presence of the virus in the White House has again raised questions of whether top American officials, including the president, have been exposed and are in a risky position.

    Over 1.2 million confirmed case have been registered across the US since the onset of the pandemic, including 77,180 related deaths - the highest tally in the world to date, according to fresh Johns Hopkins estimates. The curve suggests there hasn’t yet been a plateau in the number of new infections, with the tally continuing to rise, albeit at a slower pace.

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    Tags:
    coronavirus, lockdown, COVID-19, Ivanka Trump
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