The White House has stated that President Donald Trump doesn’t need a coronavirus test, despite several members of his political circle self-quarantining after they came into contact with a man later diagnosed with the disease.
They include Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who rode in “The Beast” limousine with Trump in the Sunshine State on Monday, before climbing up the steps of Air Force One behind the President.
Incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is also staying home until Wednesday despite his test coming back negative.
Another Trump friend, Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, was pictured shaking hands with the President on Friday.
Revelations that the disease was only one step removed from the President himself underlined how its advance could put any American at risk and are unlikely to quell public anxiety.
They also underscore the elevated risk to politicians whose work necessarily brings them into contact with large numbers of people, especially in the heat of a general election year.
The drama is focusing attention on the fact that the three men left vying for the White House are all in their mid-to-late 70s, a group with a high set of risk factors for coronavirus complications.
Several members of Congress are self-quarantined after attending last week’s C-PAC conference – including Florida Congress man who came in close contact with President Trump. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz flew to Washington with the President aboard Air Force one and rode with the President in his car. The Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that he has not been tested.
Pence not tested
The White House has not said if the President has been tested nor did they address the testing of any staff or close advisors to the President.
ABC News is reporting that the President had not been tested for COVID-19.
President Trump may have been exposed to the virus when he went to the political conference, CPAC as did the Vice President went to CPAC.
The ABC correspondent reported, “They’re like two degrees removed from this person that tested positive, and now it feels like it’s getting even closer to the President because of Matt Gaetz being on his plane yesterday.”
The issue of Trump’s health coincided with an alarming day as the number of infected Americans rose above 700, hard-hit Italy went into total lockdown and Wall Street stocks crashed to their worst day since the Great Recession amid widening fears that the crisis could tip the economy into a recession. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday asked all personnel based at its headquarters to work from home due to an employee who may have the virus, becoming the first federal agency to ask its Washington employees to stay home.
Top White House officials tried to dispense calm amid rising panic, promising significant measures to stimulate the economy and pointing out that the risk to most Americans remained low.