Anyone who has been in President Trump’s inner circle should be tested for coronavirus infection and should not decide they’re clear just because they have tested negative for the virus one time, an infectious diseases chief said Friday.
Dr. John Mellors, head of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said he would expect more people associated with Trump to test positive for coronavirus in the coming days.
“If both Melania and the President are infected, there will be other cases within the inner circle,” Mellors told CNN. “The President and his cabinet and the top levels of government really need to pay attention here."
Mellors added: “Everybody needs to be tested. Everybody who has had contact with him needs to be tested.”
One negative coronavirus test does not mean people should not quarantine or take other precautions to protect those around them, Mellors added. Tests are not 100% accurate.
“They ought to do some very quick contact tracing and isolation to stop the spread in the government,” said Mellors, one of the world’s top experts in the treatment and spread of the AIDS virus, who has helped organize UPMC’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They are going to have to follow the science now. They should have followed it all along,” Mellors added. “This is an absolute wakeup call. Stop fiddling around and making this a political issue. Wear the masks. They work. It’s that simple. There should be federal and state mandates to wear a mask."
Mellors also disputed White House physician Dr. Jesse Schonau’s statement that Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for coronavirus and thus does not need to quarantine because Pence was not a close contact of anyone infected.
“If he was in the Oval Office with Trump in the last week, then he was exposed,” Mellors said.