The vice president tested negative for the coronavirus.
Vice President Mike Pence and the second lady, Karen Pence, tested negative for the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pence said Saturday night.
At a White House press briefing on Saturday, Mr. Pence disclosed that he and Ms. Pence would be tested later that afternoon after an official in his office tested positive.
The White House physician advised him that he “has no reason to believe I have been exposed,” Mr. Pence said, noting that the person in his office did not come into close contact with Mr. Pence or President Trump.
“I am pleased to report that he is doing well,” Mr. Pence said of the employee, whom he did not name, adding that the person “has not been to the White House since Monday.”
The White House first disclosed the employee’s illness on Friday evening. Mr. Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, said in a statement that “further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with C.D.C. guidelines,” but she did not immediately reply to a request for more details about the official’s role.
Several former and current Trump administration officials have self-quarantined over concerns of exposure to the virus. Those include Mick Mulvaney, the former acting White House chief of staff, and Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary.
Last week, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, stayed home “out of an abundance of caution” after an Australian official she recently met with tested positive for the coronavirus, a White House spokesman said. By Friday, she had returned to work, watching from the sidelines as her father sparred with reporters in the briefing room.
A person familiar with the situation said she had tested negative for the virus.
As urgency for medical supplies builds, the White House says companies are stepping up to help.
The White House signaled Saturday that American companies were increasing efforts to restock hospitals with crucial supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, but it again stopped short of more assertive steps that some state and local leaders have been demanding.
At a news conference on Saturday at the White House, Vice President Mike Pence said the federal government had ordered “hundreds of millions” of N-95 masks for health care facilities across the country, but he did not say precisely when they would be delivered to workers. And President Trump said another company, Hanes, was now on the roster of major corporations coordinating with the administration.
The White House’s moves appeared unlikely to satisfy calls for more aggressive action from Washington as the nation grappled with a coast-to-coast reorientation of American life. More than 21,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and many more infections are expected in the coming weeks.
Officials in a number of states, including New York and California, have issued dire predictions and warned of dwindling supplies of crucial gear, like protective equipment, and what they believe will be a vast demand for ventilators.
Mr. Trump has sent conflicting signals on how the federal government might solve the supply issues. On Saturday, he said that he had not used the Defense Production Act — which empowers the government to mobilize the private sector to increase the production of scarce goods — because companies were stepping up voluntarily. He cited Hanes and General Motors, which he said would make masks and ventilators.
“We want them on the open market from the standpoint of pricing,” Mr. Trump said.
A Hanes spokesman said the company has agreed to make up to six million masks a week along with a group of other yarn and clothing companies after Trump administration officials reached out about a week ago. The masks will not be the highly sought-after N-95 masks. Hanes is negotiating a contract with the U.S. government to supply the masks at market rates, the spokesman said.
Other companies the administration announced coordination with include Honeywell and 3M. Mr. Trump also said Pernod Ricard USA had repurposed production facilities in four states to manufacture hand sanitizer, with the first delivery expected on Tuesday.
Separately, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Saturday that it would permit a Silicon Valley company, Cepheid, to start selling a diagnostic test that could determine in about 45 minutes whether a patient has the virus that causes Covid-19.
The company’s chief medical officer, David Persing, said the tests would be compatible with systems it already had in place at thousands of hospitals and clinics, and that they were likely to hit the market late next week. He did not say how many would be available or how much they would cost.
A Washington State hospital warned that it could run out of ventilators by early April.
Dr. Marty Brueggemann, the chief medical officer at Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima, Wash., warned Saturday that the hospital could run out of…
Source Website Coronavirus Live Updates: States Warn That Supplies Are Dwindling; Pences Test Negati