Washington: President Donald Trump has yet to be tested for the coronavirus, even as his incoming chief of staff and at least four other GOP lawmakers put themselves in quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person at a political event.
Mark Meadows, the veteran Republican congressman from North Carolina who is taking over as Trump’s top aide, joined Republican representatives Doug Collins of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida, who announced earlier Monday that they had entered self-imposed quarantine.
Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Paul Gosar, both of Texas, had earlier announced they had isolated themselves.
Trump attended the same event on Feb. 29 and recently spent time with both Collins and Gaetz. It isn’t clear whether the president encountered the infected individual when he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Maryland.
“The president has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him.”
Meadows was tested for the coronavirus, and although that test came back negative and he has no symptoms, he’s staying at home until Wednesday, when the 14-day risk period expires, a person familiar with the matter said.
Collins met Trump at the airport on Friday when he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Gaetz flew to Washington from Orlando with Trump aboard Air Force One on Monday.
Trump announced last Friday night that he was replacing acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney with Meadows — changing the top leadership of the White House in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meadows, a Trump ally and loyal defender of the president during the impeachment trial, had declined to run for re-election this fall. Mulvaney has had the job in an acting capacity for more than a year, but Trump said Meadows would be “chief of staff.” -Bloomberg