President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s not concerned that he came into contact with a Brazilian official who has since tested positive for coronavirus, even as other U.S. politicians who may have met the man self-quarantine as a precaution.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was accompanied by his press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, on a presidential trip to Florida, where they dined at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Wajngarten, who posted a picture of himself standing beside Trump on Instagram after the meeting, was confirmed to be infected with the virus on Wednesday.
During remarks Thursday at the White House, Trump said that he was “not concerned” about the meeting with Bolsonaro’s infected aide.
“I did hear something about that. We had dinner together in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago. With the entire delegation. I don’t know if the press aide was there. If he was there, he was there,” Trump said when asked about his contact with the official.
“We did nothing very unusual. We sat next to each other for a period of time, had 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,” he added.
Later Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would not seek testing, citing CDC guidelines 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.”
“The White House is aware of public reports that a member of the Brazilian delegation’s visit to Mar-a-Lago last weekend tested positive for COVID-19; confirmatory testing is pending,” Grisham said in the statement.
“Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps. 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.”
Four U.S. government officials announced Thursday they would self-quarantine after interacting with Bolsonaro’s aide.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez are all isolating themselves after possibly being exposed to the infected individual in Florida.
Graham’s office released a statement that, although the senator has “no recollection of direct contact with the President of Brazil, who is awaiting results of a coronavirus test, or his spokesman who tested positive,” he would self-quarantine as a precaution.
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