US President Donald Trump at the dinner table with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a meal at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 7, 2020.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
U.S President Donald Trump shared the same table with a guest at Mar-a-Lago who has since tested positive for the new coronavirus, the White House physician said Friday, adding that there was no need for the president to be quarantined.
The incident took place at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago last weekend, when Trump was hosting a Brazilian delegation including the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten. Wajngarten was later tested positive for the highly contagious virus, which has spread to more than 120 countries and killed at least 5,000 people worldwide.
“This evening we learned of another dinner guest, this one sharing the table with the President and White House delegation, who was symptom-free until this morning and has since tested positive for COVID-19,” said the statement from Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.
He said that Trump’s exposure to Wajngarten was “extremely limited (photograph, handshake).”
While the president shared the same dinner table and “spent more time in closer proximity with the second case, all interactions occurred before any symptom onset.” He did not mention the name of the guest.
“These interactions would be categorized as LOW risk for transmission,” Dr. Conley said, citing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “As such, there is no indication for home quarantine at this time.”
He said he will monitor Trump closely, but that “given the President himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated.”
However, earlier on Friday, the president himself said he will “most likely” be tested for the coronavirus. His remarks came shortly after he said he won’t be taking any precautionary measures following his close contact with Wajngarten.
Pressed by a reporter about whether he was being “selfish” by not getting tested, Trump retorted: “I didn’t say I wasn’t going to be tested.” He went on to add that he would do it “fairly soon.”
The new coronavirus, which was first reported in Hubei province in China, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Trump on Friday declared the outbreak a national emergency.
More than 2,000 people in the U.S. have tested positive, and at least 42 people have died from the virus as of Friday, according to NBC News.
— CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.