Meet Hope Hicks: The First White House Staff Member Confirmed with COVID-19

by Jennifer Shea
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Senior White House Adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus before the president and First Lady knew they had it. Now additional media scrutiny is focusing on Hicks.

Who is Hope Hicks?

Hicks, 31, is a former model for Ralph Lauren and Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. She had been involved with the Trump family for about five years before Trump was elected, the BBC reported. Hicks replaced Anthony Scaramucci as communications director in 2017 and went on to work for Fox News before returning to the White House this year as an assistant to Jared Kushner.

Why does it matter that she’s sick?

Hicks traveled to the debate in Cleveland on Tuesday with the president, and to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. Onlookers saw her at the debate without a mask, CNBC reported. A photographer also captured Hicks walking with other White House aides on Wednesday, all of them maskless. Hicks is the closest aide to Trump to get the virus thus far. 

“I spend a lot of time with Hope,” the president said, according to NPR. “So does the First Lady.”  

Has Hope Hicks been involved in any controversies?

Hicks made headlines for admitting to a House Intelligence Committee panel that she sometimes told “white lies” for President Trump. The committee was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Hicks said that she had never lied about Russia-related matters.

Hicks was also romantically linked to White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who had to resign after two ex-wives came forward alleging physical abuse. 

What’s her background?

Hicks was a teen model and actress. She played lacrosse as a child and majored in English at Southern Methodist University, Business Insider reported. Her father and both her grandfathers worked in public relations.

Outsider.com