President Donald Trump says his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for Covid-19.
The president wrote in a tweet: “Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!”
Mr Giuliani, who has been leading the Trump campaign’s legal challenges to the 2020 election results, is the latest person in the president’s inner circle to be infected.
The president and his team have been criticised for shunning safety guidance. Mr Trump was ill in October.
Mr Giuliani, 76, has been taken to a Georgetown University hospital in Washington DC, according to the New York Times and ABC News.
The former New York mayor has not commented publicly on his own diagnosis, but, via his Twitter account, he has shared the president’s announcement and thanked another well-wisher.
It is not clear if he is experiencing symptoms or when he caught the virus.
Nearly 14.6 million people have been infected with Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 281,234 people have died – the highest figures of any country in the world.
On Sunday, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force co-ordinator, criticised the Trump administration for flouting guidelines and peddling “myths” about the pandemic.
“I hear community members parroting back those situations, parroting back that masks don’t work, parroting back that we should work towards herd immunity,” Dr Birx told NBC.
“This is the worst event that this country will face,” she said.
Since the 3 November election, the lawyer has travelled the country as part of unsuccessful efforts to overturn Mr Trump’s election defeat. During many of his events, he was seen without a face mask and ignoring social distancing.
Last Thursday he travelled to Georgia where he repeated unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud at a Senate committee hearing about election security.
Dozens of people in Trump’s orbit are said to have tested positive for Covid-19 since October. Mr Giuliani’s son Andrew, a White House aide, had the virus last month.
Boris Epshteyn, another Trump adviser, tested positive shortly after appearing alongside Rudy Giuliani at a news conference on 25 November.
Others include the president’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, along with his wife Melania and sons Donald Jnr and Baron.
Mr Trump’s own diagnosis and hospital stay upended his campaign for a second term in office, less than a month before he faced Joe Biden in the presidential election.
Mr Trump has refused to concede defeat, insisting without evidence that it was stolen or rigged. Attorney General Bill Barr said last week his department has not seen any evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the result.
Mr Biden will be sworn in as president on 20 January.
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