As fears that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will soon enter a pandemic stage, two republicans who came into close contact with President Donald Trump have now self-quarantined after also being in contact with a suspected case of the virus, according to Politico.
According to the report, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins shook hands with Trump on Friday. In addition, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz not only traveled in Trump’s car on Monday but was also on board Air Force One. Since then, they have discovered that they have also both come into contact “with someone who was infected with [the] coronavirus.” It is believed to be the same person who attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and was later confirmed to have contracted coronavirus and was hospitalized. As a result of this, Collins and Gaetz have decided to go into “self-quarantine” rather than run the risk of infecting others should they test positive for the virus.
Collins attended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta with Trump on Friday, shaking the president’s hand while he was there. His potential exposure to the virus took place during CPAC which ran between February 24 to 27. Currently, experts believe that there is up to a 14-day window of potential incubation for the coronavirus. This means that it certainly places Collins within a timeframe in which he could be considered infectious but without showing any outward signs of the virus.
Doug Collins, who has self-quarantined, greeting Trump in Georgia last week (AFTER CPAC) pic.twitter.com/EY0qeVIIHe— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 9, 2020
A statement was released by Collins in relation to his potential exposure.
“This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for coronavirus. While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution. I will follow the recommendations of the House Physician and my office will provide updates as appropriate.”
Gaetz has been tested for the coronavirus and has self-quarantined while he awaits results. He came into contact with the coronavirus-positive person 11 days ago. A statement given by his representative states he is “not experiencing symptoms” but will remain in quarantine until the 14-day period is over.
This is not the first coronavirus scare for the president, either. As Politico states, Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, has had contact with Trump and has since admitted to also interacting with the person who tested positive at CPAC. There are also alleged concerns by Trump that journalists might be trying to catch the virus and then try to pass it onto him.