Attorney General William Barr could return to work at the Justice Department as early as Wednesday following a coronavirus outbreak afflicting high-ranking White House officials, including President Trump, and at least three senators.
Barr remained at home over the weekend and attended only one meeting on Friday, a senior Justice Department official told Fox News. The official said it was likely that the attorney general would return to work Wednesday following his fifth negative test.
The attorney general said he would self-quarantine for a few days Sunday following positive test results for President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, senior White House adviser Hope Hicks and a number of other people close to the president who had attended an event that Barr also went to last week.
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At that event, Barr was seen having a conversation with former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, with neither of them wearing a mask. She is among the people who have since tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Attorney General again tested negative for COVID-19 today,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “He has taken five tests since Friday morning and all have returned negative.”
On Monday, she said Barr was “feeling great” and had not shown any symptoms of the illness.
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The president himself spent the weekend at Walter Reed Medical Center after his positive test and suffering from symptoms of the illness. He was discharged Monday evening.
A return to work Wednesday for the attorney general would fall short of the 14-day quarantine period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several states that have implemented coronavirus travel restrictions.
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But Kupec told the New York Times earlier this week that the attorney general’s position made him an essential worker and that, since he’s shown no symptoms, CDC guidelines permit him to return to work with certain health precautions.
Those include wearing a mask.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.