After about 1.3 million cases with over 75,000 deaths in the US alone, the virus has reached the White House. President Donald Trump’s valet has been tested positive, and this could be an alarming situation.
The valet works in the West Wing and served meals to the President. He is a US military member whose job includes travelling with the President on the road and even outside the country. The man identified, exhibited symptoms on Wednesday morning, said a source in the White House.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been tested negative for the virus by the medical unit of the White House after the incident came to light. This is the closest the virus is known to have come to the President, a White House official said.
The source said the infected valet was consistently close to President Trump. The President publicly disputed that, telling reporters that he had “very little contact, personal contact, with this gentleman.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that people who recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days since the last exposure, check their temperatures twice a day and stay away from people who are at high risk of getting seriously ill.
The White House hasn’t indicated whether Trump will follow those guidelines. Trump is a self-acknowledged “germaphobe. “When somebody sneezes — I mean, I try and bail out as much as possible when they’re sneezing,” Trump said last week during a briefing on the coronavirus, using an example for Americans trying to avoid getting sick.
The White has not enforced strict social distance guidelines but the staffers usually take precautions like wearing masks during the day. Staffers have received prevention guidelines through a one-pager from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The medical unit conducts tests which provide the result within 15 minutes of testing, several officials said.
Earlier, Trump announced that Vice President Pence will be leading the coronavirus task force and said that the administration is “totally prepared” for the pandemic.