A White House doctor says the US president is not required to be tested for COVID-19 despite meeting two infected Brazilian delegates at a dinner party. The physician classified their handshakes as "low risk."
US President Donald Trump does not need a test for COVID-19 or to undergo quarantine, despite having been in contact with two Brazilian officials last weekend who have since tested positive for the virus.
The White House released an official statement by Trump's physician Sean P. Conley stating that the president's interaction with Brazilian officials in Mar-a-Lago, Florida last week "would be categorized as low risk for transmission … and as such, there is no indication for home quarantine at this time."
Last weekend, Trump hosted and dined with a Brazilian delegation that included Favio Wajngarten, the press secretary for President Jair Bolsonaro, who Brazilian officials say has now tested positive for coronavirus.
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The White House doctor also said Trump briefly came in contact with another dinner guest who started to show symptoms of coronavirus three days later and has since been confirmed to have COVID-19.
"The President's exposure to the first individual was extremely limited (photograph, handshake) and though he spent more time in closer proximity to the second case, all interaction occurred before any symptom onset," Conley said in the statement.
No symptoms for Trump
The physician added that "given the President himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-10 is not currently indicated."
Conley said that he would closely monitor and care for Trump.
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Trump has previously insisted that he didn't need to get tested but appeared to contradict Conley's statement on Friday by saying he'll "most likely" undergo the test.
His inconsistency has fueled accusations that he, his top aides and his family weren't doing enough to protect themselves and others after repeated exposure to COVID-19.
Several top administration officials, including Attorney General William Barr and Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, also met last week with an Australian Cabinet minister who on Friday was confirmed positive.
US politicians and citizens who have had the same degree of exposure have opted to voluntarily quarantine themselves and get tested out of an abundance of caution.
On Friday, Trump declared a state of emergency amid concerns that the president has not only failed to calm growing nerves over the pandemic, but that his previous announcements have contained serious factual errors.
mvb/mm (dpa, Reuters)