Coronavirus

Pelosi tests negative for COVID-19 after Mnuchin meeting

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on July 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. House Democrats urge House Republicans to extend unemployment benefits that was passed as part of the CARES Act which is due to expire on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images)

(CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, her deputy chief of staff tweeted.

The announcement comes after the California Democrat was tested following her meeting earlier this week with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss a potential stimulus bill. Prior to their meeting, Mnuchin spoke with President Donald Trump, who has now tested positive for coronavirus, in the Oval Office.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Speaker Pelosi was tested for COVID-19 this morning by the Capitol’s Office of the Attending Physician,” deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill wrote Friday afternoon. “Dr. Monahan just informed the Speaker that she tested negative.”

Pelosi is just one of several members of Congress who are being tested for the virus Friday — including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who flew on Air Force One with the president this week, and Sen. Rob Portman, who attended an outdoor event with Trump on Monday. Their moves to get tested highlight how the president’s positive coronavirus result has ricocheted across Washington, as White House aides and lawmakers begin retracing their steps over the last several days to identify whether they may have been exposed.

Mnuchin, who announced he tested negative Friday morning, has been negotiating with Pelosi this week in an effort to strike agreement on an additional aid package to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. That effort has stalled, though Pelosi and Mnuchin continue to negotiate. House Democrats voted Thursday night to pass their own package, which has slim chances of being considered in the Republican Senate.

In light of the president’s diagnosis, Pelosi called for a conclusion to those talks.

“We have to have the funding for tracing and treatment and engage in social distancing. That’s not what the White House was engaged in,” Pelosi said. “Now, hopefully, they’ll send a different message to the country, or even if they don’t do that, it will be a lesson learned by the rest of the country.”

She urged Americans to pray for the president and his family. Trump’s wife, Melania, has also been infected.

In interviews Friday morning, Pelosi criticized the administration’s approach to the virus, saying the events the president has attended in recent days and his time spent around other people without face masks “was sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen.”

“It’s sad that it did,” Pelosi told MSNBC. “But nonetheless, hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about.”

She told CNN she hopes this moment will spur people to be more serious about wearing masks, social distancing, and taking other measures to stop the spread of the virus.

“Every infection is a sad one,” Pelosi said of the Americans who have contracted the virus.

The number of deaths due to the virus, she said, is “a tragedy beyond comprehension.”

“Let’s just take it as a prayerful moment for our entire country,” Pelosi later said on CNN.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

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