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U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien tests positive for coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but there is no risk of exposure to Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence, the White House said in a statement.

O'Brien, 54, is the highest-ranked member of the Trump administration known to have tested positive

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien, seen at a briefing on counternarcotics operations in Doral, Fla., on July 10, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The White House said Monday his symptoms were mild and that Donald Trump and Mike Pence were not at risk of contracting the virus as a result. (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making him the most senior White House official to be found positive amid the pandemic.

"He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site," the White House said in a statement. "There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice-president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted."

The White House has said staff is regularly tested for the virus.

Asked about O'Brien, Trump told reporters he had not seen the adviser lately and did not know when he had tested positive.

O'Brien, who is 54, took over as national security adviser from John Bolton last September, had travelled to Paris in mid-July to represent the United States at Bastille Day ceremonies. He met French President Emmanuel Macron while there.

The virus has been disruptive for Trump, who last week was forced to cancel Republican convention activities in Jacksonville, Fla.

WATCH l Trump's national security adviser tests positive for coronavirus:

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser is the latest member of his inner circle to test positive for COVID-19 as Washington implements new quarantine measures expected to further damage the local economy. 1:57

A U.S. military member who works at the White House as a valet tested positive for coronavirus in May as did Vice-President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller.

A small number of those in Congress have tested positive for the virus, including former presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Another former Republican presidential candidate, businessman Herman Cain, was hospitalized with the coronavirus nine days after attending a much-criticized Trump rally in Oklahoma on June 20.

With files from CBC News

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