President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE on Tuesday said he sees “no reason” to get tested for the novel coronavirus but suggested he would be open to doing so if he were given such advice.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal. I would do it. I don’t feel any reason. I feel extremely good. I feel very good, but I guess it’s not a big deal to get tested and it’s something I would do,” Trump told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon after a meeting with Senate Republicans.
Trump said that the White House physician advised him he didn’t need to take the test, even though the president made contact with lawmakers who have since self-quarantined because they had contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus.
“I spoke to the White House doctor — terrific guy, talented guy — he said he sees no reason to do it. There’s no symptoms, no anything,” Trump said. The president added lightheartedly that reporters would be “the first to know it” if he had symptoms.
The White House said late Monday that Trump had not been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, because he hadn’t had “prolonged close contact” with anyone confirmed to have contracted the virus and had not shown any symptoms for it.
In recent days, Trump has been in contact with at least three individuals who came into contact with an attendee of the recent Conservative Political Action Conference who has since tested positive for the coronavirus. Those individuals include Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), both of whom announced Monday that they would self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Gaetz said later Tuesday that he tested negative but would remain under self-quarantine through Thursday afternoon "out of an abundance of caution." Collins, who said he has not experienced symptoms, has not made any announcement about his test results.
The virus has infected more than 700 people in the United States and spread to many states and Washington, D.C., prompting school closures and other decisions meant to reduce the number of cases.
Trump met with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss a potential payroll tax cut and other measures to address the coronavirus and its adverse impact on the economy.
Speaking to reporters, Trump touted the administration’s response to the virus and described the meeting with Senate Republicans on potential measures to blunt the impact of the virus as productive without providing many details.
Updated at 3:17 p.m.