Washington - President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the White House.
Trump took the test on Friday, he said during a Saturday news conference, after coming into recent contact with two individuals who have tested positive for the virus.
“Last night after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” according to the statement about the results released by press secretary Stephanie Grisham with Trump’s permission. “One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom-free. I have been in daily contact with the CDC and White House Coronavirus Task Force, and we are encouraging the implementation of all their best practices for exposure reduction and transmission mitigation.” Trump said Saturday he had also had his temperature taken Saturday before entering the White House briefing room. The President told reporters that his temperature was normal.
The White House physician had previously said in a memo that the President “remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated.”
Asked when he would announce the results of his coronavirus test, the President said that the test was sent to a lab and could take a day or two. Trump said he took the test “only because the press is going crazy.” “I also took the test last night. And I decided I should based on the press conference yesterday. People were asking, did I take the test?” Trump said, referring to his press conference Friday in which he declared a national emergency to free up $50 billion in federal resources to combat coronavirus.
Trump’s decision to take the test comes after he said he was not concerned about coming into close contact with a Brazilian official who tested positive this week for the coronavirus.
The press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil’s chargé d’affaires in Washington both tested positive for coronavirus this week, days after they met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. The White House medical doctor released a memo Friday at midnight saying that Trump remains without symptoms for coronavirus and quarantine is not necessary. During Friday’s news conference held at the White House Rose Garden, Trump had said he would likely get tested for coronavirus.
On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence also announced all travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland has been suspended for certain foreign nationals, effective midnight on Monday. This will not apply to US citizens. The same exclusions that are a part of the already existing European travel restrictions will also apply to the UK and Ireland.
Pence also said that he has not yet been tested for coronavirus but he “would be more than happy to be tested.” The White House on Saturday said it would begin conducting temperature checks on individuals who come in close contact with Trump and Pence. Before the briefing Saturday, the White House task force and members of the press had their temperatures taken. One person who was tested registered a temperature of 99.9 degrees and was turned away from the briefing.
“We have not reached our peak,” in terms of novel coronavirus cases in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in the White House briefing room Saturday, adding that there will be more cases and more deaths, primarily among vulnerable older individuals.