U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest high-profile Trump administration official to do so.
A member of the White House coronavirus task force, the 69-year-old retired pediatric neurosurgeon tested positive on Monday morning after experiencing certain symptoms of the virus.
“Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus,” said HUD Deputy Chief of Staff Coalter Baker said in a statement to ABC News.
“He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
The secretary received the test at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He was discharged from the hospital following a brief stay, according to the news outlet.
Carson's positive test comes days after the renowned doctor and author attended an in-person, indoor party at the White House on election night.
Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump's chief of staff who also attended the White House party, also tested positive for COVID-19 last week. In addition to Meadows, at least five other people in the White House tested positive for the virus.
On Oct. 2, Trump and his wife, first lady Melania, tested positive for COVID-19 and underwent self-quarantine in response.
To battle the coronavirus, the president underwent an experimental antibody drug created by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Contrary to some claims, the drug was not derived from embryonic stem cells.
“We did not use human stem cells or human embryonic stem cells in the development of REGN-COV2,” explained Regeneron’s Alexandra Bowie in a statement given to The Christian Post last month.
“We did use the HEK293T cell line to test our antibodies’ ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus (they were used to make ‘pseudovirus’ that looks like the Spike protein).”
News of Carson's diagnosis comes as Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech announced Monday that they have developed a vaccine that is found to be over 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.
“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla in a statement.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen."