Trump, allies face coronavirus exposure with isolation, hand shaking

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, some of his closest advisers and top allies in Congress have come into contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Some are heeding the advice of public health experts and isolating themselves until they have passed the period where they could be contagious to avoid spreading the highly contagious virus. Others, including Trump, continue to interact, mingle and even shake hands, as he did in the Rose Garden on Friday while declaring a national emergency to help direct money and resources for the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those to whom he offered a hand? Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been advising Americans that one of the first lines of defense against the spread is to stop shaking hands. 

President Donald Trump shakes hands Richard Ashworth, president of Walgreens, during a news conference about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ORG XMIT: DCAB330

Dr. Richard Carmona, who was Surgeon General in the George W. Bush Administration, said President Trump’s staff should have advised him not to shake hands.

“Setting the example would be very important,” said Carmona, now a distinguished professor at the University of Arizona and chief of innovation at the wellness resort Canyon Ranch. “It was a missed opportunity to shape the patterns of behavior we’re hoping to shape.” 

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