Trump shook hands at the conference with American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, who also shook hands with an infected individual days before

By Robyn Merrett
March 09, 2020 11:30 PM
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The White House has issued a statement on whether or not Donald Trump has been tested for coronavirus after the president came in contact with at least three politicians who have decided to self-quarantine.

“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 obtained by PEOPLE.

“Pres. Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” the statement concluded.

The update comes after Vice President Mike Pence left reporters with more questions than answers after he declined to say whether or not Trump had been tested.

On Monday, the White House administration’s coronavirus task force — led by Pence — held a press briefing during which Trump, 73, left the podium before answering questions on his own health status.

After Trump’s departure, reporters directed the questions at Pence, who said, “I really don’t know the answer to the question, but we’ll refer that question and we will get you an answer from the White House physician very quickly.”

As for whether or not Pence himself has been tested, when asked by reporters he explained, “No, I have not.”

It was revealed that Trump shook hands with at least three politicians, who have since opted to go into to self-quarantine after coming in contact with an infected individual, The Hill and CNN reported.

Donald Trump and Matt Schlapp
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

One encounter came about after Trump shook hands with American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp on Feb. 29 at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. During the event, Schlapp shook hands with an attendee who tested positive for coronavirus.

The American Conservative Union said in a statement that the CPAC attendee was exposed to the coronavirus prior to the conference.

The ACU claimed that the infected attendee is quarantined in New Jersey and had no interaction with Trump or Pence, both of whom spoke at the conference.

Trump later embraced Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia with a hand shake on Friday when touring the Center for Disease Control Prevention, The Hill reported.

On Monday, Collins announced his decision to self-quarantine, writing on Twitter, “This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for #COVID19.”

“While I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution,” Collins added.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who flew on Air Force One with Trump earlier on Monday, according to The Hill, announced he received testing.

“While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon. Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-ay period expires this week,” a statement from Gaetz read on Twitter.

On Saturday, Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, telling reporters that he was “not concerned at all” about the coronavirus getting closer to the White House.

Grisham recently announced that Trump had donated his most recent quarterly paycheck to support the response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

He gave $100,000 to the government’s Department of Health and Human Services

As of Monday, there are now 595 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.

Of those cases, 22 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness — 19 in Washington state, two in Florida and one in California.

The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.

Worldwide, there are now 113,584 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,996 deaths.

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.

At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area to different countries, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the United States.