Despite interacting with people who have been quarantined or tested positive for coronavirus, the White House claimed Donald Trump does not need to receive such tests, and the president continues to call for calm amid the pandemic. As reported by Raw Story, CNN reporter Jim Acosta — who cited an unnamed source close to Trump — alleged that he is privately concerned he will contract the disease.
“President Trump is calling for calm as fears are growing over the coronavirus,” said Acosta. “The White House is brushing off concerns the president needs to be tested for the coronavirus, despite his coming into contact with a Brazilian official who came back positive for the virus.”
“The president told reporters today he’s not concerned, but a source close to the president tells me Mr. Trump is, indeed, concerned he may contract the coronavirus after interacting with people who have tested positive.”
Per The Guardian, Acosta is referring to Fabio Wajngarten, who is the communications secretary to Jair Bolsonaro and accompanied him on his trip to Florida, where he dined with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. According to guidelines provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus can spread between two people that are within approximately six feet from one another.
Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that reportedly spreads by coughing, sneezing, or physical contact, which has led to calls for social distancing. According to infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, the virus is primarily transmitted through the air. He also claimed that the general advice of not touching your face and washing your hands to prevent contracting COVID-19 is mostly ineffective.
According to The Guardian, Spanish-language reports suggested that Bolsonaro had tested positive for coronavirus, but they were discredited as “fake news.” Regardless, the Brazilian president has reportedly taken a test and will know the results by Friday, which could fuel Trump’s worries if he tests positive.
In addition to Trump and Bolsonaro, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allegedly faces a coronavirus scare of his own. He is reportedly in quarantine after his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, experienced symptoms of the illness, which include fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, and difficulty breathing.
The claim from Acosta — who has had a rocky relationship with Trump over the years — comes not long after he got into a tense exchange with the president in the Oval Office as he addressed the nation about COVID-19. As reported by the Washington Examiner, Acosta asked Trump how he felt about Americans that are worried he isn’t taking the coronavirus crisis seriously enough.
“That is CNN. Fake News,” the president responded. “Thank you very much.”