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Trump says he is tested 'a lot,' but not daily, for coronavirus

Trump says he is tested 'a lot,' but not daily, for coronavirus
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President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE said Thursday that he is not tested every day for COVID-19 despite assurances from aides that he is regularly tested for the disease as questions persist about when he first contracted the coronavirus.

"I’m tested, not every day, but I’m tested a lot," said Trump, who administration doctors have confirmed is no longer contagious after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.

"I was really tested a lot after I got rid of it, because they wanted to make sure and I was tested a lot," Trump added. "I said, 'How many tests do I have to take?'"

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Trump acknowledged earlier this year that he was not being tested every day after the White House said he was tested daily  and sometimes multiple times a day  for the disease.

The president said July 21 that he took "probably on average, a test every two days, three days."

Questions about the regularity of testing have reemerged as Trump and White House officials have repeatedly refused to disclose when the president last tested negative prior to testing positive for the virus on Oct. 1. 

Experts say that information is critical to determine who Trump may have exposed to the virus and whether he might have been infectious two days earlier at the first presidential debate with Democratic rival Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE.

The timeline is also key for determining when it is safe for Trump to return to public activities.

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The White House has cited privacy concerns for declining to say when Trump's last negative test was, but they said earlier this week that the president had tested negative on consecutive days. The White House physician also released information last Saturday saying the president was no longer considered a risk to transmit the virus.

The lack of clarity around testing protocols and results for Trump were brought into sharper contrast on Thursday morning when the Biden campaign announced two staffers, including the communications director for vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden-Harris team unveils inauguration playlist Trump approval rating relatively unchanged in wake of Capitol rioting: NBC News poll Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday MORE, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said neither of the infected individuals were in close contact, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with Harris or Biden in the 48 hour period prior to their positive tests, so there would be no requirement for the candidates to self-quarantine.

But O'Malley Dillon said they would cancel Harris’s travel through Sunday out of an abundance of caution. Harris last tested negative for the coronavirus on Wednesday and will be tested again on Thursday, the campaign said.