President Donald Trump has tested negative for the new coronavirus, the White House announced Saturday evening.
The news comes just hours after Trump revealed he had finally gotten tested amid growing questions about his exposure to several infected people.
“One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom-free,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, noting she had just “received confirmation that the test is negative.”
The president—whose handling of the coronavirus crisis has come under fire—had contact at Mar-a-Lago last weekend with at least two people who later tested positive for COVID-19. They have been identified as Brazilian Ambassador Nestor Forster and Fabio Wajngarten, a top communications aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
At a press conference on Friday, Trump was hammered with questions about why he had not been tested and had chosen not to self-quarantine despite those contacts—in apparent contradiction of the government’s own recommendations.
Throwing all logic to the wind, Trump said, “Well, first of all, I’m not coming back from someplace”—completely ignoring the fact that most people sick in the United States now got infected on American soil.
Trump, a notorious germaphobe, then said he probably would get tested, only to have White House physician Sean Conley undermine that message hours later. Conley said in a statement that Trump’s interactions with the Brazilians were “low risk” and that testing “is not currently indicated.”
By morning the stance had changed again, citing public pressure.
“I also took the test last night, and I decided I should based on the press conference yesterday. People were asking,” he said, adding that his swab had been sent to a lab and would be back in a “day or two.”