Abbott CEO who attended White House event tests negative for COVID-19
Abbott Laboratories' chief executive officer, who visited the White House on Monday for an event related to coronavirus testing, has tested negative for COVID-19.
Robert Ford was among a group that included President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other HHS officials who attended the Rose Garden event.
The president announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus, several hours after it was reported that adviser Hope Hicks had also tested positive. Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later Friday as a precautionary measure, according to White House officials.
According to an Abbott spokeswoman, Ford -- who was named CEO earlier this year -- did not meet with Trump or Hicks while visiting the White House.
"Mr. Ford does not have COVID-19," said spokeswoman Darcy Ross via email. "He has tested negative on Abbott rapid tests this week, including today."
Earlier this year, the North Chicago-based pharmaceutical giant received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to produce a second COVID-19 antibody test.
On Friday, the University of Notre Dame announced that its president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, tested positive for the coronavirus less than a week after he attended a White House event where he did not wear a face covering. The announcement came days after Jenkins apologized for not wearing a mask during a Rose Garden ceremony Saturday for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame graduate and law professor.
In a letter to students, Jenkins expressed regret for what he described as "an error of judgment in not wearing a mask," saying "I failed to lead by example, at a time when I've asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so."
• Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report.