All the times US president Donald Trump risked exposing himself to coronavirus
- President Donald Trump has taken few personal precautions as coronavirus continues to spread across the US.
- Trump, who is 73, in recent days has been in the vicinity of several people who interacted with an infected individual.
- The World Health Organisation on Wednesday declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic.
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President Donald Trump has sought to paint a rosy picture for the country as the coronavirus outbreak spreads, downplaying its potential impact and routinely contradicting top government experts.
And he's exhibited little to no personal caution as public health officials warn that the worst is yet to come with the outbreak. At 73, Trump is at higher risk for getting a more serious form of novel coronavirus and his job involves lots of meetings and air travel. The CDC has advised Americans over 60 to stock up on foods and medications; the most serious cases seem to be for seniors 80 years and older.
There have been several instances in which Trump may have risked exposing himself to coronavirus. Here's a rundown.
Trump was at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland last month. It eventually came to light that a person infected with coronavirus was at the event.
Matt Schlapp, CPAC's chairman, confirmed that he had direct contact with the infected person during the conference and later greeted and shook hands with Trump.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz also interacted with the infected person. He was with Trump in Florida over the weekend, and joined the president on Air Force One for a flight back to Washington.
Gaetz said Trump was not "hyper cautious about being in the same space" as him on Air Force One.
Gaetz, who was accused of making light of coronavirus by wearing a gas mask on the House floor during a vote on emergency funding, was tested for the virus and it came back negative. Gaetz on Tuesday said he's continuing to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution.
Gaetz self-quarantined on the Air Force One flight, and spent the night in his car outside of a Walmart to avoid potentially infecting other people as he drove back to Florida. "I slept in a Walmart parking lot somewhere off [Interstate] 85," Gaetz said.
Rep. Doug Collins, who was with Trump during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta last Friday, also interacted with the infected person at CPAC and has gone into self-quarantine.
Trump has refused to stop shaking hands, even as Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the government's response to coronavirus, opts to bump elbows instead. The CDC has recommended people clean their hands often.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease, has recommended that people avoid large crowds. But Trump on Friday said he has no plans to stop holding rallies due to coronavirus, though there are none currently scheduled. Trump also still plans to attend an event in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday. More than 121,500 people have been infected and over 4,300 have died.
The US has reported at least 1,080 cases and confirmed 31 coronavirus deaths: 24 in Washington state, three in California, two in Florida, and one each in New Jersey and South Dakota.
Trump on Tuesday said he's not been tested for coronavirus, but isn't necessarily opposed to doing so. "I don't think it is a big deal. I don't feel any reason — I feel extremely good. I feel very good, but I guess it's not a big deal to get tested. It is something I would do," Trump said.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly been tested for coronavirus. He was with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend. The two shook hands and sat side-by-side at dinner. Bolsonaro's press secretary has tested positive for coronavirus.
Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro's press secretary, has tested positive for the coronavirus. He was photographed standing next to Trump.
The White House is aware that a member of the Brazilian delegation had tested positive for the coronavirus. "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," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
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