“There are people behind the people,” Deesha Dyer, the White House social secretary under Barack Obama, told us. And “they don’t have the privilege of being Marine One–ed to Walter Reed” if they get sick.
Asked to describe the mood inside the White House, one staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he fears for his job, called the fallout from the Trumps’ diagnosis “a huge mess.” He found out about the president’s and first lady’s illness through news reports. “That happens all the time in this administration,” he said. Other White House officials have also recently tested positive, including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies. For now, the staffer said he’s “just waiting and worried for my friends and their families.”
Of all the employees working on the White House grounds, perhaps no one has more exposure to the first family than the roughly 100 members of the residence staff. Trump and the first lady (not to mention Trump’s political advisers) have rarely worn masks, and each time the president has held a rally or speech outside the White House, he’s created opportunities for the virus to migrate inside the executive mansion. (That’s especially true if the president’s personal testing regime has not been as stringent as the administration has led the public to believe.)