The White House said on Friday that anyone who will be near President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be given a rapid test to see if they have COVID-19, the new disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“As the physician to the president and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the president and vice president, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.
The test will “evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” he added.
The move is being done out of an abundance of caution, a White House official said. The rapid test was developed by Abbott Laboratories.
Up to one in four people infected with the new virus will never show symptoms and patients not showing symptoms can transmit the virus, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.
Researchers from the agency said in a report published this week that they found seven clusters of cases from Singapore where the “most likely explanation” for the secondary cases becoming infected was “presymptomatic transmission.”
President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday night that he’s not concerned about getting the virus.
Trump said earlier in the week that he took a second test to see if he had the new virus. Trump was first tested on March 14. Both tests returned negative.
“It took me literally a minute to take it,” the president said.
Results came back in around 15 minutes.
“I think I took it, really, out of curiosity to see how quickly it worked and fast it worked, and it’s a lot easier. I’ve done them both. And the second one is much more pleasant,” he added.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior advisor to the president, and wife Melania Trump, the first lady, are among those close to Trump who have also been tested. No one in Trump’s cabinet has tested positive, nor have any senior advisors or members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence were tested last month after one of Pence’s aides tested positive. The vice president and his wife tested negative.
The White House began screening reporters who attend daily briefings given by Trump, Pence, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force for elevated temperatures in March. Fewer reporters have been attending the briefings in a bid to follow social distancing guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus.