Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development (HUD), has tested positive for the coronavirus, a HUD spokesperson said Monday, making him the second senior official who attended an election night event at the White House to contract the virus.
Carson, who rose to political prominence when he ran against Donald Trump in 2016, has been harshly criticized for his lack of sensitivity to the plight of urban residents seeking quality affordable housing and a general lack of understanding of urban issues in general.
News of Carson’s diagnosis comes after he attended an election night watch party at the White House with President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who was diagnosed with the virus on Friday.
In addition to Meadows and Carson, partygoers included Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Bill Barr, Steve Mnuchin, Alex Azar, David Bernhardt, and hundreds of others. Thus far, at least six White House staffers ― including Trump campaign aide Nick Trainer ― also reportedly have COVID-19.
Carson, 69, is in a higher-risk category for serious complications of the virus than some of the others in the Trump administration who have contracted the virus. Carson was a successful neurosurgeon for years.
Carson is notably a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.