Trump won't self-quarantine despite potential coronavirus exposure from Bolsonaro aide that caused 2 Republican senators to isolate
- President Donald Trump has not been tested for coronavirus and is not in self-quarantine despite coming into contact with a member of a Brazilian delegation that has reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
- White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's press secretary, who Brazilian media reports has tested positive for the coronavirus, posted a picture on Instagram of himself standing directly beside Trump and Pence at the Mar-a-Lago club this past weekend.
- Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Lindsey Graham did go into quarantine after potentially coming into contact with the group. Graham received a test for coronavirus.
- Several Republican members of Congress entered self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution after coming into contact with an infected individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February. Some of them subsequently had contact with Trump before learning of their potential exposure.
- Despite these possible exposures, Trump has so far not entered quarantine, or been tested.
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President Donald Trump has not been tested for coronavirus and has not entered self-quarantine, even after Republican Senators who had similar exposure to a reported COVID-19 patient this weekend chose to take these protective measures.
Trump was at his West Palm Beach club in Mar-a-Lago earlier this week along with a group that included several other administration officials, Republican politicians, Fox News personalities, and other conservatives, according to 1100 Pennsylvania, a watchdog blog dedicated to documenting possible conflicts of interest and high-profile comings and goings at Trump's properties.
Also in attendance: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was in Florida accompanied by a delegation this week. His spokesman Fabio Wajngarten, who accompanied the foreign leader on the trip and was at Mar-a-Lago, later tested positive for COVID-19 according to Brazilian media and CNN.
Earlier this week, Wajngarten posted a photo of himself side by side with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago on Instagram. He sported a "Make Brazil Great Again" hat, a nod to the President's own statement accessory.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to Insider that "The White House is aware of public reports that a member of the Brazilian delegation's visit to Mar-a-Lago last weekend tested positive for COVID-19; confirmatory testing is pending,"
Despite concerns that Trump and Pence may have been subsequently exposed to the coronavirus by standing right next to Wajngarten, Grisham that they "had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."
However some of Trump's allies in Congress who may have been exposed to contact with Brazil's delegation have taken precautions.
Within hours of each other on Thursday, Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, announced they would voluntarily self-quarantine after they were also in proximity with the Brazilian delegation in Florida. Scott said he has not been tested after consulting with doctors, but Graham has said he is awaiting the results of a test out of a abundance of caution.
Neither reported experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.
Scott said that he met with Bolsonaro in Miami on Monday, and "while I do not believe I interacted with the infected person, that individual was in the same room as me."
Graham was at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, and while he had "no recollection of direct contact" with Bolsonaro or his spokesman, he was entering self-quarantine regardless.
Senator Marco Rubio also reportedly shook Bolsonaro's hand in Florida this week, CNN's Manu Raju reported. But at the moment, Rubio said he would not enter quarantine or receive a coronavirus test because he did not have any interaction with the Bolsonaro spokesman who tested positive.
This isn't the first time Trump may have risked exposure to people who came into contact with a coronavirus patient. Several Republican members of Congress voluntarily went into quarantine this week after encountering a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who later tested positive.
At least two of those congressmen, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, had contact with Trump after their potential exposure. Collins shook Trump's hand and accompanied him on a visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta last Friday, while Gaetz hitched a ride on Air Force One on Monday before learning while still on the plane that he had contact with the CPAC attendee. Neither reported symptoms but both voluntarily self-quarantined.
My decision today to self-quarantine is out of an abundance of caution.- Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 12, 2020
My priority is the health and safety of all Americans and I will continue working on my plan to combat the virus and protect American families. Read my statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/1rVq2SK6RY
Statement from the Office of Senator Lindsey Graham pic.twitter.com/XyyZ9dnpTe- Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 12, 2020