White House physician: Trump doesn’t require test after exposure to 2 people with coronavirus

President Trump does not require testing or self-quarantine after being exposed to two individuals who have since tested positive for the coronavirus, according to his White House physician.

The White House released a letter late Friday from Sean Conley, the physician to the president, detailing that Trump was in close proximity to two people at his Mar-a-Lago estate last weekend who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by new strain of coronavirus that has sparked a global pandemic.

“The President’s exposure to the first individual was extremely limited (photograph, handshake), and though he spent more time in close proximity to the second case, all interactions occurred before any symptom onset,” Conley wrote. “These interactions would be categorized as LOW risk for transmission per CDC guidelines, and as such, there is no indication for home quarantine at this time.”

“Additionally, given the president himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated,” Conley continued, adding that he would continue to closely monitor Trump. 

The letter did not identify either individual, but one is believed to be an aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who shared a photo standing next to Trump. The aide began showing symptoms for the coronavirus three days after the interaction and has since tested positive.

The second individual shared a table with Trump and the White House delegation, Conley wrote. That individual “was symptom-free until this morning.”

Public health experts have cautioned that individuals can be infected with the coronavirus before they start displaying symptoms, but Conley still determined that a test for Trump was not necessary.

The president said earlier Friday at a Rose Garden news conference that he will “most likely” get tested for the coronavirus at some point when asked if it was selfish of him not to after interacting with individuals who have gone into self-quarantine.

Trump was previously in contact with at least three people who have since gone into self-quarantine as a precaution after interacting with someone at the Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

At age 73, Trump falls into a higher risk category for those who contract the coronavirus.

The president on Friday declared a national emergency to free up additional resources to combat the virus and outlined efforts to ramp up testing nationwide. The lack of testing availability thus far has been a point of bipartisan criticism.

There are more than 2,100 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Friday night, and 48 people have died from the virus, according to The New York Times

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