Marines supporting the president as part of Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron One will be tested for COVID-19, and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance will go into quarantine while awaiting the results, a Marine Corps official confirmed.
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he and his wife had tested positive for the potentially deadly coronavirus only hours after it was confirmed that high level White House aid Hope Hicks had tested positive.
The Marines from Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron One, also known as HMX-1, are tasked with providing helicopter transport to the president and vice president, inevitably putting them in close contact with the president.
“HMX-1′s top priority is mission readiness and the health of its passengers and personnel,” Capt. Joseph Butterfield, a spokesman for Headquarters Marine Corps, said in a Friday email.
“HMX-1 also follows CDC guidelines for monitoring the health of its personnel and routinely tests its Marines. Marines supporting the president during this time will be tested and CDC isolation protocols will be followed,” he added.
The testing and isolation protocols go a bit beyond just the Marines who directly interacted with the President, Butterfield said.
Though he did not say how many Marines would go through the quarantine protocols, Butterfield said the unit is still ready to assist the president if necessary.
“HMX-1 remains postured to support the president and will continue to sanitize each helicopter in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines published by the Center for Disease Control,” Butterfield said in the email.
On Sunday Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger was one of several high-ranking Department of Defense officials to interact with Trump at the White House during a Gold Star Family event, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
The commandant has tested negatively for the virus several times since the event, Maj. Eric Flanagan a spokesman for the commandant told Marine Corps Times.