President Donald Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, the White House physician said Saturday evening after the president held a press briefing on the administration’s latest moves to combat the outbreak.
On Friday, Brazil’s Acting Ambassador Nestor Forster tested positive for coronavirus, making him the third person who visited Mar-a-Lago with Trump last weekend to be confirmed with the virus.
A letter from Conley sent on Friday night revealed that Trump had dinner with Forster on March 6 and both the president and his daughter Ivanka are pictured on the evening with the ambassador.
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The president also came into contact with Brazilian Press Secretary Fabio Wajngarten on Saturday who tested positive and he attended a dinner on Sunday after which one of the attendees was also diagnosed. It’s not clear who that attendee is.
Forster was the third person over the space of a weekend that Trump and members of the first family encountered who have since tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
Trump said that had been tested on Friday night, after fielding questions about it during a press conference due to contact with at least three people who later tested positive for the virus.
On Saturday evening, the president’s physician Sean Conley released a letter in which he confirmed the results of Trump’s test had returned negative and that he remains ‘symptom free’.
Conley claimed in a letter on Friday evening that the president, 73, is low-risk despite his age and his previous contact with people who tested positive.
The statement did not say if Trump will be re-tested.
At the briefing on Saturday, all journalists were screened for fevers before entering the briefing room as part of a new policy of checking the temperature of anyone who comes in close contact with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence.
One journalist was reportedly barred from entering the briefing after showing a high temperature.
White House spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement that the reporter’s temperature was taken three times within 15 minutes, and each time was above the 100.4 degree threshold that the CDC defines as a fever.
Despite Trump’s announcement that’s he’s been tested, health officials at Saturday’s press conference urged Americans to begin isolating themselves instead of rushing to get tested if they’re not experiencing symptoms.
As of Saturday, the U.S. had reached 50 reported coronavirus-related deaths and over 2,200 confirmed cases.
The administration on Friday announced steps that would allow some labs that have been processing tens or hundreds of samples a day to instead handle thousands. The U.S. tested about 11,000 people during the first seven weeks of the outbreak — roughly as many as South Korea can test in a day.