Jayna McCarron is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard and a military aide to President Donald Trump who has tested positive for COVID-19, Bloomberg News reports. McCarron, 35, is one of several White House staffers to test positive after Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and several top Republican politicians and others in Trump’s circle contracted the coronavirus. McCarron serves as an aide to Trump with four other active-duty military members, one from each of the other branches of the armed services.
It is not known if McCarron has shown symptoms of COVID-19. Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs tweeted on Tuesday, October 6, “One of the president’s military aides, Coast Guard aide Jayna McCarron, has coronavirus, sources tell me. And so does one of the president’s valets, who is also active duty military, and traveled with the president last week.” Jacobs added, “Military aides handle phone calls for president, and do advance for trips. They’re a link between him and White House Military Office, which runs IT, food, transportation, valet services, medical unit, Navy Mess.”
Here’s what you need to know about Lieutenant Commander Jayna McCarron:
McCarron & the Other 4 Military Aides Conduct Several Tasks for Trump & Are Responsible for Carrying ‘the Football’ That Contains Nuclear Codes
According to Jacobs, McCarron and the four other military aides are responsible for several Trump-related tasks in the White House and when he is traveling. Jacobs tweeted, “There are always 5 POTUS milaides, one from each service. One task they perform: carry ‘the football.’ They also handle the phones for the president, do advance for trips, many other tasks. They’re all active duty.”
According to Smithsonian Magazine, “the football” is a briefcase that accompanies the president everywhere and has been in use since President John F. Kennedy. It’s officially called the “president’s emergency satchel,” and contains codes that confirm the president’s identity and allow him to National Military Command Center at the Pentagon, along with nuclear strike options, Smithsonian Magazine wrote in 2014.
The military valet who tested positive has not been identified. McCarron and the valet join Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, press officer staffer Chad Gilmartin, communications aide Karoline Leavitt, adviser Hope Hicks and Trump’s bodyman, Nick Luna, among those at the White House who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters. Former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway also tested positive, along with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was hospitalized, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel and Republican senators Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Thom Tillis.
Also on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported Coast Guard vice commandant Admiral Charles Ray has tested positive for COVID-19 after showing mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus. Ray met with senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a week before his diagnosis, according to Bloomberg. General Mark Milley, the top military official in the U.S., is quarantining because of contact with Ray, the news organization reports.
McCarron Is a Massachusetts Native Who Graduated From the Coast Guard Academy in 2007
Jayna McCarron is a native of Lunenburg, Massachusetts. She graduated from the. Coast Guard Academy in 2007 as a civil engineer, according to her biography on the Coast Guard Bears website from when she was an assistant coach for the school’s track and field teams.
According to the bio, McCarron spent four years on Coast Guard cutters, two years on a special assignment and two years in graduate school before returning to the Coast Guard Academy to be the Alfa Company officer. The bio says, “. Alfa Company’s mission at the Academy is ‘health and wellness.'”
McCarron’s bio says she “has a dog, Max who also has four years of sea time. She has always loved running and hopes to be a lifelong athlete!” McCarron was a member of the track and field team when she was a student at the academy.
McCarron was interviewed by CNN’s student news in 2007 at her commencement. She said she was drawn to the Coast Guard because of its humanitarian missions.
McCarron Helped With a Dramatic Dog Rescue That Made the Local News in 2019
McCarron served on Coast Guard cutters in Mississippi and California before returning to the Coast Guard Academy, according to her bio on the academy’s website. She also served in Washington her special assignment and then was in New York for graduate school.
In January 2019, McCarron was part of a Coast Guard team in Michigan that helped save a dog that went missing near Lime Island, according to 9&10 News. She was aboard the Coast Guard Mackinaw at the time as the cutter’s executive officer.
“We were out breaking ice, keeping the waterways open for commerce up in the St. Marys River,” McCarron told the news station. “As we were pulling in we saw a dog come out towards us on the ice. We saw the dog fall back into the water than scramble up and run back on to the island. We went out and took it upon ourselves to go out and create a search party for the dog.”
McCarron added, “We came back and just left some food out for him hoping that he’d maybe come to us and unfortunately he didn’t.” Later that night the cutter circled back around the island, and McCarron said, “We saw the dog sitting right by the pier and we were so excited because we all thought the worse. He was very malnourished you could see all his ribs and hip bones sticking out, but the best news was he had a collar with good contact information so we were able to call their owners.”
McCarron and her crew were able to reunite the dog with its owners, a Canadian family, the news station reported.
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