President Donald Trump has been tested for corona virus, he revealed at an unscheduled White House briefing on Saturday.
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.
The president said that the test sample had been sent to a lab and that he expected to have the results within a day or two. Corona virus tests are usually conducted by nasal swab.
Trump’s surprise claim that he had been tested followed a confusing 24 hours in which Trump first suggested he might get tested, and then released a letter from the White House doctor saying that he was low risk and did not need a test at this time.
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 temperature of 99.9.
The White House announced earlier in the day that ‘out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the president and vice president.’
Pence had been scheduled to lead the briefing but Trump led it off with a surprise appearance, touting his handling of the crisis and taking credit for a massive stock market rally as he delivered a press conference during the last 30 minutes of Friday’s trading session.
Contrary to medical advice, the president was seen Friday shaking hands all round as he gathered his corona virus response team at the White House — a practice he said Saturday owed to long-time habit as a politician but which he said would have to change.
At Saturday’s briefing, Trump also revealed that his own temperature had been checked before he entered the room.
On his way out of the room, as reporters asked him what his temperature was, he turned and shouted, ‘totally normal!’
Trump said Friday he’d ‘most likely’ get tested for the novel corona virus, as he was grilled on his recent contacts with several members of a visiting Brazilian presidential delegation who have since tested positive.