Jenna Bush Hager reflects on bond with 'beloved' White House staff in wake of COVID-19 spread

Jenna Bush Hager reflected on the tight bond she shared with the White House staff during her family’s time in the Executive Mansion. “(We are) sending our love to all of them.”
/ Source: TODAY

Jenna Bush Hager is sending well wishes to the "beloved" White House staff as they deal with a coronavirus outbreak that has touched President Donald Trump, the first lady and several of his top aides.

The daughter of former President George W. Bush recalled her tight bond with the staff during her family's time in the White House.

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"It's something that anyone who has ever had the privilege to go there knows, they're lifelong employees so we got to know these people that we had nicknames for, they had nicknames for us," she said Monday on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. "They were beloved."

Trump has been hospitalized since Friday, when he announced both he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

Several other figures including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, White House adviser Hope Hicks, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, former aide Kellyanne Conway and adviser Chris Christie have also tested positive.

The positive tests come after photos from White House events nine days ago surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett showed the president and top officials mingling indoors with no visible masks.

McEnany said Sunday that the White House would not be releasing the exact number of staffers who have tested positive for COVID-19, citing "privacy concerns." (McEnany revealed her diagnosis on Twitter Monday.)

Trump also drew criticism for leaving the hospital to take a ride to wave to fans outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday with a pair of Secret Service agents.

"The Secret Service as well are these group of people that you spend more time with," Jenna said. "I had (Secret Service) with me when I got engaged, when I got married."

Jenna shared on TODAY last year that she and husband Henry Hager were even accompanied by a Secret Service agent when they got engaged while camping in Maine.

"The point is, these people give up their lives for others, so we are thinking about all of the people and the orbit of those that are sick," she said.

Trump's illness comes as more than 7 million U.S. cases of the coronavirus have been reported and more than 200,000 people have died.

"I think it shows us if the president can get this, anybody can," Jenna said. "This is serious. We are thinking today of the White House staff and the Secret Service who are so beloved, and sending our love to all of them."