Three Republicans who were recently in close contact with United States President Donald Trump said that they would be self-isolating themselves after they had come into contact with an individual infected with coronavirus, on March 9.
The three Republicans – Doug Collins, Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows – have announced that they will be taking the step to self-quarantine, after discovering that they had been in close contact with a confirmed patient while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Maryland from February 26-29.
Decision to self-quarantine
“This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for coronavirus. While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution,” tweeted Collins on March 9. Collins was seen shaking Trump’s hand on March 6.
The second Republican, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, rode in the same official vehicle as the president and they then boarded together on March 9.
Gaetz had previously posted a photo of himself wearing a gas mask and jokingly referring to the coronavirus on Twitter on March 4, sparking outrage among social media users. “153 people in the USA have contracted the virus and 11 people have died and you think making fun of it is a good idea? Good Lord. #TrumpLiesAboutCoronavirus #MoronAVirus,” tweeted one netizen in response to Gaetz’s photo.
The third Republican, Mark Meadows who is the incoming White House chief of staff and North Carolina representative, was tested negative. Although the test came back negative and he reportedly has no symptoms, Meadows is staying at home until the 14-day risk period expires.
Other politicians have also placed themselves in self-quarantine after attending the CPAC event in February.
Trump not been tested
Although being in close contact with the three Republicans who were exposed to an infected person, Trump has reportedly not yet been tested for the coronavirus.
“The President has not received testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms. President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters here!