The White House insists President Donald Trump doesn’t need a coronavirus test, despite several members of his political circle self-quarantining after they came into contact with a man later diagnosed with the disease.
They include Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who rode in “The Beast” limousine with Trump in the Sunshine State on Monday, before climbing up the steps of Air Force One behind the President. Incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is also staying home until Wednesday despite his test coming back negative. Another Trump friend, Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, was pictured shaking hands with the President on Friday.
Revelations that the disease was only one step removed from the President himself underlined how its advance could put any American at risk and are unlikely to quell public anxiety. They also underscore the elevated risk to politicians whose work necessarily brings them into contact with large numbers of people — especially in the heat of a general election year.
The drama is focusing attention on the fact that the three men left vying for the White House are all in their mid-to-late 70s — a group with a high set of risk factors for coronavirus complications.