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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

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris to name Bill Clinton aide Tina Flournoy as chief of staff

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Harris plans to name Tina Flournoy, currently chief of staff to former President Clinton, as her chief of staff in the White House, a source familiar with transition planning tells me, confirming a report by Yashar Ali.

Why it matters: There's been intense fascination about this post among top Democrats, with Harris likely to remain a power in the party for many years to come.

3 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

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