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People's Daily Online

White House says Trump, Pence "do not require being tested" for COVID-19

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:15, March 13, 2020

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence do not need to be tested for COVID-19 "at this time," said the White House on Thursday.

The statement came after news broke out that a member of the Brazilian delegation that visited Mar-a-Lago, Florida and met with Trump and Pence last weekend had tested positive for COVID-19.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said they are aware of the reports and that "confirmatory testing is pending."

"Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps," Grisham said. "Both the president and vice president had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."

There is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine, the Trump aide said, citing guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and will update everyone as we get more information," she added.

Fabio Wajngarten, communications secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, reportedly came down with flu-like symptoms after returning to Brazil and was taken to hospital for COVID-19 testing.

Wajngarten posted on social media a picture of him posing along with Trump, Pence and Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lag. He is awaiting the results of a second test for confirmation.

Bolsonaro is also being tested for COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Trump said he is not concerned about the news.

"I did hear something about that. We had dinner together in Florida at Mar-a-Lago, with the entire delegation," Trump said. "I don't know if the press aide was there ... we did nothing very unusual. We sat next to each other for a period of time."

As of Thursday afternoon, there were over 1,300 confirmed cases and 38 deaths in the United States, according to real-time data maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

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