President Donald Trump has not been tested for coronavirus despite being in close contact with multiple lawmakers who are now self-quarantining due to their proximity to someone with the virus, the White House said late Monday.
“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. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
“Per current CDC guidelines, medical professionals should base testing decisions on patient symptoms and exposure history.”
Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said that he did not know whether Trump had been tested.
“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,” Pence, who leads the administration’s coronavirus task force, said during a White House press briefing Monday evening.
Trump, who was also at the briefing, was asked whether he’s been tested but didn’t answer, leaving the briefing room before answering any questions.
Pence also said that he has not been screened for the coronavirus, later adding that there has been “no recommendation” that he be tested.
Two Republican members of Congress, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, recently announced they would self-quarantine after being informed that they were in close proximity to someone at a major conservative conference last month, who has since been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Collins shook hands with Trump during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. And Gaetz rode in the presidential limousine before riding on Air Force One with the President on Monday.
It was aboard that flight that Gaetz “was informed today by CPAC while he was mid-flight on Air Force One that he had come in contact with the infected attendee,” according to his office. “Once he landed, he then was immediately tested,” for the coronavirus.
Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, is also self-quarantining after attending CPAC.
Pence was pressed by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during Monday’s briefing on the President’s interactions with members of Congress who are in self-quarantine.
“I just simply don’t know what the White House physician has recommended to the President,” Pence said, adding, “we’ll let you know tonight” whether he has been or will be tested for the virus.
The directive of the White House physician, Pence said, “is to see to the health and well-being of the President of the United States and we’ll get you a very direct answer on that.”
This story and its headline have been updated with the White House statement saying the President has not been tested.