“He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site. There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted.”
O’Brien was named to his post in September, replacing Charles Kupperman, who served in an acting capacity after the ouster of John Bolton.
He recently returned from Europe, where he and his top deputy met with officials from the UK, France, Germany and Italy, the network reported.
Recently, White House coronavirus task force spokeswoman Katie Miller and a personal valet to the president both tested positive.
In May, O’Brien compared China’s handling of the pandemic to the then-Soviet Union’s response after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
“The cover-up that they did of the virus is going to go down in history, along with Chernobyl. We’ll see an HBO special about it 10 or 15 years from now. And so we’re in a different place with China as we speak today,” said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
O’Brien was responding to a question from host Chuck Todd about whether Washington was tough enough on Beijing as it tried to hammer out a trade deal with the country.
“We want good relations with China and with the Chinese people, but unfortunately we’re seeing just action after action by the Chinese Communist Party that makes it difficult. And with respect to the trade deal, we’ll see if they live up to it. But we’re dealing in a new world now with corona,” O’Brien said.
“They unleashed a virus on the world that’s destroyed trillions of dollars in American economic wealth that we’re having to spend to keep our economy alive, to keep Americans afloat during this virus,” he said.
O’Brien has dramatically slashed the size of the National Security Council — reducing the headcount to half of what it was during the Obama era.