By: A7 Staff
President Donald Trump tested negative for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the White House physician said in a statement released on Saturday.
“Last night after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, wrote. “This evening I received confirmation that the test is negative.”
“One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom-free,” Conley continued.
“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,” he added.
Trump announced earlier on Saturday that he took a coronavirus test on Friday evening after being in proximity to several people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and interacting with others who have self-quarantined as a precautionary measure.
AP reported that Trump said he had his temperature taken and it was “totally normal,” shortly before stepping into the room to discuss the government’s efforts to halt the spread of the virus. The pandemic has now infected more than 2,200 people in the U.S. and caused at least 50 deaths.
The president, according to two people close to the White House, had been reluctant to take the test for fear it would project weakness or worry, as was reported by the AP. Trump has wanted to appear in full control during the crisis, and had expressed concerns that taking personal steps could undermine that appearance.
AP reported that Trump came into office as self-described germaphobe who tried to avoid handshakes as he conducted his real estate business. But he acknowledged Saturday that he’s now finding it difficult to resist shaking hands, a habit that he says he’s picked up since becoming a full-time politician.
Among those who he interacted with is the communications chief of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was later diagnosed with coronavirus.
Bolsonaro himself on Friday denied having tested positive for coronavirus, after local media reported he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was awaiting the results of a second test to confirm.
Trump was also known to have interacted with Georgia Rep. Doug Collins and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, both of whom came in contact with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who was later hospitalized with coronavirus.
Collins and Gaetz went into self-isolation earlier this week.
Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Saturday that he had his temperature taken and it was “totally normal,” shortly before stepping into the room to discuss the government’s efforts to halt the spread of the virus. The pandemic has now infected more than 2,200 people in the U.S. and caused at least 50 deaths. (INN)