Olivia Troye Says White House 'Never Cared' About COVID, Pence's Chief of Staff Joked About Masks

Former staffer for Vice President Mike Pence, Olivia Troye, has claimed the White House never cared about the COVID-19 pandemic and Pence's own chief of staff, Marc Short, joked about wearing masks.

Troye spoke to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday following the news that Short had tested positive for COVID-19. One of the vice president's political advisers, Marty Obst, also tested positive for the virus, along with three other staffers.

Blitzer asked Troye if she was surprised that the virus was spreading "so rapidly" among staff at the White House. The recent cases are the latest since President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and several others contracted COVID.

"I'm gonna be brutality honest here," Troye said. "I'm not [surprised]. I worked very closely with Marc Short. He was the number one person to act like COVID wasn't real."

"And when you set the tone on the vice president's team in that manner as the chief of staff, you're gonna put everyone around you at risk, including the vice president, who I'm not convinced is completely out of the woods right now."

Troye said she was concerned about Pence's key advisers having the virus and the possible risks to the vice president and his promises from those close to them contracting the virus.

She highlighted the situation in her hometown of El Paso and questioned how anyone could deny the reality of the pandemic. She was critical of Pence for continuing to travel. He's been attending campaign events as he and President Donald Trump campaign for re-election.

Blitzer went on to ask Troye if Pence or Short had ever looked down on her for wearing a mask.

"I didn't have that perception of the vice president," she said. "I certainly didn't feel that way around him. I definitely saw the attitude at times and heard the comments from Marc Short. That's just the truth."

"Well, there were jokes about it," Troye said when Blitzer pressed the issue. "Or it was jokes about ... He would joke about the CDC's latest effort to stop Americans from going to work. Well what they were trying to do was they were trying to actually protect Americans so that eventually we can all get back to normal and go to work. That's what the CDC and others were trying to do."

Following the interview, veteran conservative commentator and Trump critic Bill Kristol asked Troye if anyone in the White House cares that El Paso is on lockdown and hospitals there are at capacity.

"The #WhiteHouse #Covid Task Force was pushed aside in late July. It was:1)Lie 2)campaign/act normal-even if Americans continue to suffer/die," Troye replied.

"This pandemic will get worse—They never cared. Please #vote in the biggest election of our lives," she wrote.

Vice President Mike Pence and Marc Short
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his chief of staff Marc Short confer during a meeting with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and pharmaceutical executives in Cabinet Room of the White House on March 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. Short tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, October 24. Drew Angerer/Getty Images