After valet gets COVID-19, checks go daily as U.S. digests jobless claims of 33m
A member of the U.S. military serving as one of President Donald Trump's valets has tested positive for the coronavirus, but Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence have since tested negative for the virus and "remain in good health", the White House said on Thursday.
"I've had very little contact with this person," Trump told reporters on Thursday afternoon, adding that the frequency of testing in the White House would increase to once a day from once a week.
It marked the latest coronavirus scare for the president, and the first known instance where a person who has come in close proximity to him has tested positive since several people present at his private Florida club were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March. The person tested positive on Wednesday, the White House said.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the country－hardest hit by the pandemic－had confirmed 1,256,972 cases by 5 am GMT.
Globally, there have been 3,726,292 confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon, including 257,405 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
New data showed that more than 33 million people in the U.S. have filed for jobless claims as the virus continues to ravage the economy, indicating the scope of damage to the labor market, while suggesting the historic wave of layoffs seems to be receding.
In the week ending on May 2, the number of U.S. citizens filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 677,000 from the prior week to 3,169,000, the fifth weekly decline in a row, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Thursday.
The breadth of job losses is "stunning", Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm, wrote in a recent blog. "They spanned virtually every industry and income category," she said.