Washington Oct.7(dpa) - Stephen Miller became the latest White House staff member to test positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday, while US President Donald Trump said he had no further symptoms following his release from hospital.
In an interview with Fox News, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said Miller, a top aide to Trump, was "doing well" and had been self-quarantining for five days prior to receiving his positive test result.
Multiple White House staffers have been infected with the virus, including McEnany, who is currently quarantining, and senior advisor Hope Hicks.
"Obviously there was an outbreak here at the White House," McEnany said, while defending the White House response to the virus. It has come under fire for failing to make mask-wearing mandatory and hosting large gatherings.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump, who was diagnosed with the virus on Thursday, reported he had no symptoms of Covid-19 on his first day since returning from hospital, according to his physician Sean Conley.
"He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms," Conley said in a statement, adding that Trump's vital signs remained stable.
Trump compared the coronavirus with the flu as he continued to downplay the pandemic and push the country to return to pre-pandemic business.
"Flu season is coming up!," Trump tweeted. "Are we going to close down our country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!"
Twitter later posted a message on Trump's tweet, noting that it "violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."
The company determined, however, that it was in the public interest to keep the tweet online.
Trump has previously claimed that Covid-19 was comparable in lethality to the flu, though experts say the coronavirus is more deadly.
More than 210,100 people have died of the virus in the United States.
In his tweet, the president also wrote that "sometimes over 100,000" people die a year from the flu, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 12,000 to 61,000 US deaths per year.
On Monday, Trump was discharged from the Walter Reed medical centre after receiving state-of-the-art treatment for Covid-19 there for three days, including multiple experimental drug therapies.
"Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life," he tweeted before leaving the hospital.
Arriving at the White House, he climbed the steps and took off his face mask as he posed for the cameras.
His medical team said he was not "out of the woods yet" and would continue to receive treatment at the White House.
The president has often appeared in public without a mask in recent months and has come under fire for minimizing the pandemic.
Trump also said that he would attend a scheduled debate against Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden on October 15 despite having contracted Covid-19.
"I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!" he tweeted.