PRESIDENT Donald Trump rode on Air Force One with an official who hugged Kimberly Guilfoyle—who has tested positive for Covid-19—raising questions around whether the president could have been exposed to the virus.
The official who flew with Trump on Friday night, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, did not wear a mask, her spokeswoman Maggie Seidel told the Associated Press on Monday.
Noem interacted closely and even hugged Guilfoyle, who is first son Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and a Trump campaign official, at a Trump campaign fundraiser on Thursday.
The following day, the Trump campaign announced that Guilfoyle had tested positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Noem tested negative for the virus right before receiving Trump in South Dakota on Friday.
Noem joined Trump aboard Air Force One after the fireworks at Mount Rushmore and spoke with him during the flight heading to Washington, D.C., according to Seidel.
The governor’s decision not to wear a mask mirrors Trump, who has refused to wear one.
By flying with Trump, Noem showed how to live with Covid-19, Seidel said.
The spokeswoman added that Noem does not plan to get tested again for the virus, another factor in the matter of whether Trump could have been exposed.
“I don’t understand why Governor Noem now needs to manage the president’s medical care,” Seidel told AP.
Officials with the White House and Trump campaign could not be immediately reached for comment by The Sun on Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told AP that the Secret Service takes the president’s health “very seriously” and that Trump “is tested constantly, has tested negative, and those around him are tested as well.”
Trump has not tested positive for Covid-19, though he has come into contact with various officials who have interacted with people diagnosed with coronavirus.
They include Republican congressmen Doug Collins and Matt Gaetz, who self-quarantined after being exposed, back in March when the widespread virus outbreak began in the U.S.
The president’s refusal to wear a mask goes against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that people wear face coverings when coming into contact with people in public.
Guilfoyle’s diagnosis has led other conservatives to take greater precautions.
Republican Rep Greg Gianforte paused in-person campaign activities for his gubernatorial run because Guilfoyle interacted with his running mate as well as his wife.
Last month, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he believes masks can increase the risk of getting Covid-19 because people “put their finger on the mask, and they take them off, and then they start touching their eyes and touching their nose and their mouth.”