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Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

  • Short is a key a public face of the administration — one of its more frequent advocates in the press and on television — and works closely with West Wing staff.
  • Earlier Saturday, Marty Obst, a top outside adviser to Pence, tested positive, ABC News and others reported. Obst is an outside adviser and not a government employee.
  • The New York Times reports that three unnamed Pence aides have also tested positive.

The big picture: Short joins a long list of top White House officials who have been hit by the virus — one of the biggest crises ever to hit a White House, and a central issue in the election, which is less than 10 days away.

  • Katie Miller, Pence's communications director, tested positive in May.
  • After President Trump tested positive in early October, longtime aide Stephen Miller tested positive, as did press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
  • A FEMA memo reported that 34 people were associated with the White House outbreak, ABC News reported.

A statement from the vice president's office said:

Today, Marc Short, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process.
Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 today, and remain in good health.
While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.
— Pence press secretary Devin O'Malley
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Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Women take press lead in Biden era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women will overwhelmingly guide coverage of the White House and politics during the Biden administration, propelled by a slew of newly appointed leaders at major TV and radio networks, newspapers and digital outlets.

Why it matters: While female representation in the Washington press corps has steadily grown, what's changed most recently is the number of women in front of and behind cameras and bylines.

Larry Kudlow joining Fox Business as new program host

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow will be joining Fox Business as a contributor and new weekday program host beginning on Feb. 8, Fox News Media announced in a press release.

Why it matters: Kudlow was the top economic adviser to former President Trump and gained a reputation for his overly optimistic assessments about the state of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats propose raising debt ceiling through midterms

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House and Senate leadership announced on Monday that they plan to attach a proposal to raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022 to a short-term, government funding bill. The bill must pass before the end of the month or Congress risks a shutdown.

Why it matters: Democrats are taking a huge risk by trying to force through an increase of the debt limit in its must-pass funding bill. The move is wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats who are hoping they can get at least 10 centrist Republicans to balk, as well as an effort to put Republicans on record opposing it.

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