Trump hasn't been tested for coronavirus but top aide is quarantined

The White House Press Secretary said that President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - United States President Donald Trump has yet to be tested for the coronavirus, even as his incoming chief of staff and at least four other GOP lawmakers put themselves in quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person at a political event.

Mr Mark Meadows, the veteran Republican congressman from North Carolina who is taking over as Mr Trump's top aide, joined Republican representatives Doug Collins of Georgia and Mr Matt Gaetz of Florida, who announced earlier on Monday (March 9) that they had entered self-imposed quarantine.

Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Paul Gosar, both of Texas, had earlier announced they had isolated themselves.

Mr Trump attended the same event on Feb 29 and recently spent time with both Mr Collins and Mr Gaetz.

It isn't clear whether the President encountered the infected individual when he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Maryland, which was held on Feb 26-29.

"The President has not received Covid-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed Covid-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

"President Trump remains in excellent health, and his physician will continue to closely monitor him."

Mr Meadows was tested for the coronavirus, and although that test came back negative and he has no symptoms, he is staying at home until Wednesday, when the 14-day risk period expires, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr Collins met Mr Trump at the airport last Friday when he visited the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Mr Gaetz flew to Washington from Orlando with Mr Trump aboard Air Force One on Monday.

Mr Trump announced last Friday night that he was replacing acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney with Mr Meadows - changing the top leadership of the White House in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Meadows, a Trump ally and loyal defender of the President during the impeachment trial, had declined to run for re-election this autumn.

Mr Mulvaney has had the job in an acting capacity for more than a year, but Mr Trump said Mr Meadows would be "chief of staff".

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