I’m not sure if Trump’s only mission as president is to continue to assure his cronies that their investments are safe or if he truly just doesn’t give a shit, but there have been several reports that the 73-year-old president of the United States has come in contact with people who have either had or have been around people who’ve tested positive for the coronavirus, yet he and members of his staff have refused to be tested.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son denied on Friday that his father had tested positive for the coronavirus despite earlier reports. Brazilian press secretary Fabio Wajngarten, however, did test positive and he recently met with Trump in Florida. Surely this would mean that the president of the United States would want to get tested just to make sure he wasn’t a carrier of the virus and didn’t become gravely ill while in office?
Nope. Much like releasing his tax returns or his college grades, Trump has been adamant that he’s not doing it. At least not yet.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who hates the press and as such rarely talks to them, issued a statement Thursday saying: “Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time.”
To be fair, the little contact that Grisham speaks about is totally subjective. What I may consider little contact could be completely different from Grisham’s definition. It’s not like Donald Trump Jr. had a party for his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle’s birthday at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. A dinner party that Trump hosted. A dinner party that Wajngarten attended. A dinner party in which the press secretary stood just feet away from the president when they took this photo:
If you are wondering, yes that is Vice President Mike Pence in the photo, but he’s also had little contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus. He also has refused to meet with the coronavirus unless his wife is present.
To be fair, the CDC has noted that anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms to be tested as long as a doctor approved the request. And neither Trump nor Pence have shown any signs of coronavirus as Pence is always stiff and Trump always has a case of the sniffles.
But a few medical experts think the testing criteria for Trump and Pence should be weighed differently.
From the New York Times:
While the White House has indicated that its bar for testing the commander in chief is high, Dr. Judith N. Wasserheit, a professor of global health and medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, recommended otherwise.
“Because of the critical roles that the president and vice president play, it would be wise to have a low threshold for testing regardless of symptom status,” she said.
Dr. Thomas File, the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said that anyone within five feet of an infected individual for five minutes or more had potential exposure to the virus. The recommendation for someone who had exposure would be to “stay home and monitor themselves” for 14 days, Dr. File said. “If they develop symptoms, they would be tested.”
Grisham assured America: “The White House Medical Unit and the United States Secret Service has been working closely with various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First & Second Families, and all White House staff healthy,” CNN notes.
Earlier this month, Trump attended the CPAC (Conservative Penises and Cocks Conference) in which one infected attendee reportedly interacted with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, whom Trump also shook hands with.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is currently under self-quarantine, rode on Air Force One with the president and members of his staff after CPAC and is awaiting coronavirus test results.
Shortly after learning that a CPAC attendee had tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump told the press, “I’m not concerned at all.”
On Thursday during remarks in the Oval Office, Trump noted that he heard of the aide’s diagnosis.
“We did nothing very unusual, we sat next to each other for a period of time,” he added, referring to Bolsonaro, CNN reports.
Apparently Trump thinks that coronavirus works the same as gonorrhea and as long as he doesn’t have sex with the infected person he doesn’t need to be tested.
It would be great if it were only Trump who felt this way but Peter Dutton, Australia’s minister for home affairs learned Friday that he is infected with the coronavirus and was pictured last week standing next to Ivanka Trump, Attorney General William Barr and Kellyanne Conway in a photo taken March 6, USA Today reports.
Has Barr been tested? Nope. “The Justice Department said Friday that Barr is ‘feeling great and not showing any symptoms.’ He is, however, staying at home Friday. ‘The CDC is not recommending he be tested at this point,’ the Justice Department said. And why the hell not? If it’s a money thing, Rep. Katie Porter just took care of that.
Seriously, why won’t the White House get tested?
Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2020, 4:36 p.m. ET: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo says that his father did not test positive for coronavirus. Eduardo told O Dia, a major Brazilian newspaper, on Friday, that despite several reports noting that his father tested positive for the coronavirus, his father does not have the disease that has caused a global pandemic.
Eduardo told Fox News that further testing was being done to confirm the diagnosis but used President Trump’s distasteful refrain that any reports to the contrary were “fake news.”
The story has been updated to reflect the news of Bolsonaro’s condition.