White House now conducting temperature checks amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus

President Trump says he has been tested for coronavirus, expects results within days

A doctor (L) from the White House Physicians Office checks temperatures on journalists in the Brady Press Briefing Room prior to a press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 14, 2020. – The White House said March 14, 2020 it is now checking the temperature of anyone coming into close contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House announced Saturday that it is now conducting temperature checks on anyone who is in close contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The move is being taken out of an abundance of caution in response to the coronavirus outbreak, said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

Trump and Pence attended an afternoon news conference at the White House, and Trump said he had his own temperature taken before speaking to reporters.

“It was totally normal,” Trump said. “If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been here. ”

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Trump said that he took a test Friday to determine whether he has the coronavirus and will have the results within a few days.

“I also took the test last night, and I decided I should, based on the press conference yesterday. People were asking,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House Saturday.

“They sent it to a lab,” he added, saying results should take a “day or two” to come back from the lab.

Trump has had multiple direct and indirect contacts with people who have tested positive for the pandemic virus. On Friday, he declared a state of emergency as schools and workplaces across the country shuttered, flights were canceled and Americans braced for war against the health threat.

Trump spent time last weekend at his private club in Florida with at least three people who have now tested positive.

The Brazilian Embassy in Washington announced late Friday that the country’s chargé d’affaires, Nestor Forster, tested positive after sitting at Trump’s dinner table. So, too, have a top aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and an individual who attended a fundraiser Sunday with Trump, according to two Republican officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private health matters.

Trump has been known to flout public health advice — and was eagerly shaking hands during an event Friday — but acknowledged he “most likely” will be tested soon. The White House physician has indicated that Trump’s interactions were low risk and testing was not necessary.

A representative from the White House physician’s office took the temperate of members of the media who were at the White House on Saturday, going around to each person and putting the device to their heads. A reporter with a suspected elevated temperature was not allowed into the briefing room for a news conference with Trump and Pence about the outbreak.

COVID-19 resource links:

Public health officials say that individuals with a cough and elevated temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher are deemed concerning.

Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, tweeted that according to the White House Medical Unit, the temperature was taken three times over a 15 minute period and all three registered above the 100.4 guidelines.

NBC News contributed to this report

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