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Pence says he and wife will be tested for coronavirus

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Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that he and his wife Karen would be tested for the coronavirus after a staff member in his office tested positive for the virus this week.

"Given the unique position that I have as vice president and as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon," Pence said during a news conference at the White House.

His office announced Friday that one of its members tested positive for the coronavirus -- the closest confirmed case to Pence that is publicly known.

Pence told reporters Saturday that his staffer who tested positive for coronavirus is "doing well."

He reiterated neither President Donald Trump nor himself had direct contact with the staff member, and said that health authorities have traced his contacts.

The person had "mild" cold-like symptoms for a day and a half and has not been at the White House since Monday, according to Pence.

195,000 Americans tested

Pence also announced that more than 195,000 Americans have been tested for the virus.

He noted that the number does not include county hospitals or health care labs around the country. Currently, only 19,343 tests have come back positive, Pence said.

Trump also told reporters on Saturday that Congress is close to reaching a deal on a proposal for the next stimulus bill to deal with the pandemic.

On Saturday, congressional and administration negotiators entered a crucial day in the effort to deploy more than $1 trillion in emergency stimulus to a staggering economy, with a growing consensus on a final agreement, but a handful of significant hang-ups still needed to be resolved.

Bipartisan groups of senators worked late into Friday night with top officials from Trump's administration to lock in a final agreement -- a deal that people directly involved in the negotiations tell CNN could top a cost of $1.5 trillion -- before falling short of a midnight deadline imposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Larry Kudlow, a top economic adviser to Trump, went even further on the overall scope of the package Saturday, telling reporters it could top $2 trillion.

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