White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett admitted that working in the West Wing can be risky for his health.
Hassett told CNN on Sunday he has been tested repeatedly with the last one happening Saturday and so far has tested negative for Covid-19.
He said he did not have close contact with Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, who tested positive on Friday.
Several top medical officials of the administration are now self-quarantining because they had close contact with her last week.
“There was an emergency. They called me back in, and I built a giant data operation to help everybody track the ventilators and things like that. And I knew when I was going back in that I would be taking risks, that I would be safer sitting at home in my house than going into a West Wing that with even all the testing in the world and the best medical team on Earth, it's a relatively cramped place,” Hassett said.
Hassett, who had left a job in the White House for the private sector and became a CNN commentator, went back to work for the administration in March.
He told CNN that when he came back into the administration he was setting up a data operation in the basement of the White House “interacting constantly with people who were going to and from FEMA.”
He added some people “caught Covid at FEMA.”
“So we've all been exposing ourselves to risks, under the best guidance we could possibly have to keep us safe, but we're willing to take that chance because we love our country. There are things that have to happen in the West Wing even if the building is a little old and under-ventilated,” he said. “I absolutely have a mask in my pocket. I could wave it at you right now, and I practice social distancing, I wear a mask when I feel it's appropriate and so on."