DONDALD Trump's doctor said the President does not need to be tested for COVID-19 – even though he came into contact with multiple people who are confirmed to have the deadly coronavirus.
The President had said at a news conference Friday he will "most likely" be tested, only for his doctor to say hours later he did not need to be as he is "low risk."
Trump's comments that he would be tested came Friday as he declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the White House's Rose Garden.
When speaking with reporters, Trump said people should "listen to their doctors" and "shouldn't be jumping to get the test unless it's necessary" when questioned about the fact that he came into direct or close contact with multiple people who are confirmed to have the virus.
"I think they have to listen to their doctors, and I think they shouldn't be jumping to get the test unless it's necessary," Trump said.
The President said he "didn't say I wasn't going to be tested," when pressed by a reporter.
When pressed if he would be tested, he responded: "Most likely, yeah."
He said he hadn't been tested because he did not have symptoms, and was not worried about exposure.
"Not for that reason but because I think I will do it anyway,” Trump said of potential testing in the future.
He said it would happen "fairly soon."
"We're working out a schedule," he said.
Hours later, however, White House in-house physician Sean Conley said in a letter the President didn't need to be tested as he remains low-risk.
The letter came after another guest at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort last weekend tested positive for the killer coronavirus after dining with the president.
Friday's revelation is the third person who visited the president's resort to have received the damning diagnosis, along with Brazil's Acting Ambassador Nestor Forester and his Press Secretary, Fabio Wajngarten,
Forester tested positive on Friday night after Republican party officials warned guests they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Despite the latest revelations, the White House is still classifying President Trump's risk as "low" – and insisting he doesn't need to be tested.
"This evening, we learned of another dinner guest, this one sharing the President and the White House delegation, who was symptom-free until this morning and has since tested positive for COVID-19," Conley, said.
"The president's exposure to the first individual was extremely limited (photograph, handshake) and although he spent more time in proximity to the second case, all interaction occurred before any symptom onset.
"These interactions would be categorized as LOW risk for transmission per CDC guidelines, and as such, there is no need for home quarantine at this time."
Hours earlier, Brazil's US embassy issued a Twitter statement on Friday night confirming Forster tested positive and would be isolating.
The account previously tweeted a picture of Brazilian officials and Forster at a round table dinner with Trump and Ivanka on Saturday.
He was also pictured shaking hands with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez – who has since tested positive for coronavirus – during US meetings with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro.
"Following medical advice, Amb. Forster will extend his self-quarantine, which he had already placed himself into as a precautionary measure, for another two weeks," the Brazilian embassy tweeted.
The third unnamed Mar-a-Lago patient attended the Trump Victory fundraising event on Sunday, according to an email obtained by the Washington Post.
“Attendees had no direct interaction with the president at this event," it stated, downplaying the seriousness of the infected person's proximity to Trump.
“If you or any of your loved ones is ill or develops a fever, shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms, please contact your medical provider.”
Suarez also announced his positive diagnosis on Twitter, saying he felt "completely healthy and strong" but was self-isolating.
The news comes after Bolsonaro's top aide Wajngarten tested positive – days after meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at his luxurious Florida resort.
Neither Pence or Trump have been tested and a White House statement said he was at a "low risk" despite the three confirmed cases.
Trump said he hasn't been tested yet because he doesn't have any symptoms during his Rose Garden address on Friday afternoon.
It was also revealed on Friday that Ivanka Trump met with Australian minister Peter Dutton on March 5, just days before Dutton was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Attorney-General William Barr was also at the meeting in Washington DC.
On Friday afternoon Trump declared a national emergency as coronavirus cases skyrocketed across the US.
"I am officially declaring a national emergency," Trump said as he made the announcement on Friday.
He said the emergency would open up $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.
Trump, who at 73 is in a more vulnerable age group, shook hands with several advisors at the press briefing despite health officials urging the public to refrain from doing so.
When questioned over the US government's slow roll out of virus testing, Trump was defiant: "I don't take responsibility at all."
When asked about his demolition of President Obama’s pandemic response team, Trump called it “a nasty question.”
The president has faced criticism for delays in testing for the new coronavirus, with claims it has allowed the disease to spread rapidly throughout the country.
In announcing the increase in tests, Trump also appeared to downplay the public health crisis.
He said that five million tests would be available “within a month,” though added: “I doubt we’ll need that.”
Trump said he was also giving Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar emergency authorities to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.
A number of US medical experts now predict that the number of people infected will continue to grow until May.
As of March 13, the death toll surged to 48 in eight states when Colorado confirmed its first fatality.
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