Trump had possible second-hand exposure to COVID-19, but not tested

New York, March 10 (IANS) President Donald Trump, who had possible second-hand exposure to the coronavirus, has not been tested for it, according to his spokesperson Stephanie Grisham.

“The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms,” she said Monday after questions had been asked at an earlier news conference.

“President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” she added.

Trump had been in close proximity to four members of Congress who have gone into self-quarantine after having come into contact with someone infected by the coronavirus.

One of them, Mark Meadows, was appointed by Trump last week as his chief of staff and his self-quarantine could disrupt Trump’s plans.

As he was leaving the White House news conference on the coronavirus on Monday evening, Trump ignored questions about testing shouted at him by reporters.

Vice President Mike Pence, who continued the media encounter. was asked about testing for himself and Trump.

He said that he had not undergone testing and he would ask the White House about Trump.

The four members of Congress were exposed to an infected person at a meeting of the pro-Trump Conservative Political Action Conference last month.

Meadows was at a White House meeting last week with Trump.

Representative Matt Gaetz met Trump in Florida over the weekend and flew back with him on Air Force One. His staff tweeted that he had not developed any symptoms but was taking precautions.

Representative, Doug Collins, toured the Centers for Disease Control facility in Atlanta on Friday with Trump.

Senator Ted Cruz had been at a White House meeting last week.

Doctors have advised 14-day quarantine for people who have been exposed to people infected by COVID-19 as it is thought to be the maximum incubation period for the disease.

The US is in the campaign mode for the November general election and Trump as well as Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have been holding large meetings, the president having the biggest of them with as many as 15,000 supporters.

This has raised concerns about the spread of the coronavirus when people are packed in so closely and the medical advice calls for keeping distance between people.

Anthony Fauci, who is the administration’s leading scientific authority on the coronavirus crisis, was asked if political campaigns should be cancelled because of the threat of coronavirus.

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that it depended on the time and place of the rallies.

“If you’re talking about a campaign rally tomorrow, in a place where there is no community spread, I think the judgment to have it might be a good judgment,” he said.

But, “If you want to talk about large gatherings in a place where you have community spread, I think that’s a judgment call,a he said.

Trump’s campaign has not scheduled any rally for now.

His wife, Melania, cancelled a fundraiser scheduled for March 18 in California, one of the states with several coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, six states will be holding Democratic intra-party polls – the primaries – to select its candidates to challenge Trump for the presidency.


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