FDA commissioner in self-quarantine for 2 weeks after coming in contact with COVID-19 case

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Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, is in self-quarantine for the next two weeks after coming in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Stephanie Caccomo, a spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration, says Hahn tested negative for the virus after he learned of the contact. He wrote a note to staff on Friday to alert them to the contact.

Hahn was scheduled to testify before a Senate panel on Tuesday, along with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield.

The administration is not confirming the person Hahn had contact with that tested positive for the virus. The news follows the confirmation that two people who work in the White House complex, Pence’s press secretary and Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant, are known to have tested positive for the virus this week.

President Donald Trump, who publicly identified the affected Pence aide, said he was “not worried” about the virus spreading in the White House. Nonetheless, officials said they were stepping up safety protocols for the complex.

The White House requires daily temperature checks of anyone who enters the White House complex and has encouraged social distancing among those working in the building. The administration has also directed regular deep cleaning of all work spaces. Anyone who comes in close proximity to the president and vice president is tested daily for COVID-19.

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