Posted by News Express | 12 March 2020 | 2,527 times
A Brazilian official who met and dined with President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to media reports Thursday – but Trump said he’s “not concerned.”
The official, Fabio Wajngarten, posted an Instagram image of himself posing with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the White House’s coronavirus task force. It was not clear when the photo was taken, or by whom; it was posted on Wajngarten’s account four days ago, according to Instagram.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement later Thursday acknowledged that Trump and Pence were in contact with the man.
“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,” she said.
Grisham said that the White House and U.S. Secret Service are working with other agencies to “ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First & Second Families, and all White House staff healthy.”
She also reiterated that “there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine.”
Trump was asked earlier at the White House about his interaction with Wajngarten, who serves as Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary.
“I did hear something about that,” Trump told reporters there. “We had dinner together in Florida at Mar-a-Lago with the entire delegation. I don’t know, if the press [said he was there, then] he was there.” Mar-a-Lago is Trump’s Florida resort.
Trump appeared to shift his focus to Bolsonaro as he continued his response.
“But we did nothing very unusual. We sat next to each other for a period of time, had a great conversation. He’s doing a terrific job in Brazil, and we’ll find out what happens. I guess they’re being tested right now?” Trump said. Bolsonaro was also present at Mar-a-Lago days earlier, according to the reports.
Pressed for comment on the reports, Trump added: “Let’s put it this way, I’m not concerned.”
Later Thursday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott announced that he would self-quarantine “in an abundance of caution” after learning that Wajngarten “was in the same room as me” when Scott met with Trump in Miami on Monday.
“I have been told that my risk is low, and [that] I don’t need to take a test or quarantine,” Scott, a Republican, said in a statement. “However, the health and safety of the American people is my focus and I have made the decision to self-quarantine in an abundance of caution.”
Scott added that he feels healthy and is not currently experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus.
It is unclear if Trump has previously been in direct contact with anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. But he has recently interacted with multiple U.S. lawmakers who went into self-quarantine after learning that they had been in contact with an individual who was since diagnosed with the disease.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., shook hands with Trump last Friday when the president traveled to Atlanta to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where officials there briefed him on their response to coronavirus.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., flew on Air Force One with Trump on Monday on a flight from Orlando, Florida, to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Gaetz reportedly learned on that flight that he had been in contact with a person who was diagnosed with the coronavirus. He said he would self-quarantine about an hour after he got off the plane with Trump. (CNBC)
•PHOTO: A Brazilian government official (R) posing for a photo next to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-A-Lago has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus
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