He was not seen wearing a mask during any of those engagements. He informed a close circle of advisers after Tuesday's election, one of the people said. Then he was at the president's speech in the East Room just after 2:30 a.m., interacting with dozens of aides and allies.
Just nine days before the presidential election, Mr Meadows somewhat changed his tune, telling CNN the U.S. was "not going to control the pandemic ... because it is a contagious virus just like the flu".
Meadows, who infrequently wore face masks, traveled extensively with Trump in the late stages of his campaign as he raced across swing states. Meadows has the virus.
Trump campaign announces lawsuit being filed in Nevada to stop ballot counting
That's nearly exactly what happened early Wednesday morning - altered slightly by a speedier timeline than what Sanders predicted. Even some conservative news pundits have cautioned Trump supporters to not believe everything that they hear from the campaign.
A top aide to the chief of staff, special assistant to the president for legislative affairs Cassidy Hutchinson, was among those in the White House who tested positive, according to a White House official. And Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz, has also contracted COVID, according to a report in Politico. Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, and other aides tested positive for the virus late last month, shortly before the election. For example, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany revealed her diagnosis on Twitter.
The new outbreak could hamper Trump's efforts to organize legal challenges to the vote.
The people familiar with the matter asked not to be identified because the cases had not been announced.
After Trump was hospitalized for the coronavirus for four days in early October, some wondered if it would prompt the president to take the pandemic more seriously. Leading up to Election Day, polls showed that voters overwhelmingly trusted Biden over Trump when it came to handling the pandemic.