Late last month, Mick Mulvaney, who was still the acting White House chief of staff at the time, told a crowd of conservative activists that the media was exaggerating the threat posed by covid-19 because “they think this will bring down the president, that’s what this is all about. . . . It’s not a death sentence, it’s not the same as the Ebola crisis.”

But unbeknown to attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mulvaney had already received a coronavirus test, at the recommendation of the White House physician. The test, which has not been reported until now, was followed by a second this month after a niece with whom Mulvaney shares an apartment was around members of a Brazilian delegation who later tested positive for the virus.

Mulvaney is one of three President Trump confidants to get a coronavirus test while exhibiting no symptoms of the disease. And on Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced he tested positive despite being asymptomatic, refusing to disclose how he was able to get tested in Washington on March 16.