White House says it will conduct temperature checks on those close to Trump, Pence

White House says it will conduct temperature checks on those close to Trump, Pence
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The White House on Saturday started taking the temperatures of individuals "in close contact" with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE or Vice President Pence, including reporters attending a briefing on the coronavirus.

"Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President," deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

An official with the White House physician's office went around the press workspace on Saturday morning and took the temperatures of reporters in the building for a noon news conference with Pence and members of the coronavirus task force.

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One journalist was kept out of the briefing after they were found to be running a fever. The vice president's press secretary tweeted that the person's temperature was taken three times over a 15 minute period, and all three registered above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature checks reflect the shifting day-to-day operations at the White House as the coronavirus spreads, including to those in close contact with Trump. Still, the White House physician said late Friday that Trump himself does not require a coronavirus test despite coming into contact with two individuals last weekend who have tested positive for the virus.

"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," physician Sean Conley wrote in a letter released by the White House. "Additionally, given the president himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated."

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 Saturday morning, and 49 people have died from the virus, according to The New York Times

Updated at 12:28 p.m.