The coronavirus outbreak has now caused large segments of American culture — including pro sports leagues, religious institutions, and even Disneyland — to simply shut down. At the press conference outside the White House where he made the declaration, Trump was seen violating several of the precautions against spreading the virus recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, violations that were captured in a viral Twitter video, seen below.Trump said at the press conference that he had not been tested for coronavirus, but that "I think I will be," adding that the test could occur "fairly soon."
The president appears to have been at least exposed to the virus on Sunday, when he was photographed standing next to Fabio Wajngarten, the communications secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as a delegation from Brazil visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Wajngarten tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, Florida, attended an event with the infected Brazilian on Monday, and is now self-isolating after receiving a positive coronavirus test.
Trump, however, said on Friday that he felt no need to self-isolate, and White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham earlier claimed that he had "almost no interactions" with Wajngarten.
The CDC recommends that to avoid possible spread of coronavirus, individuals should wash their hands frequently, and avoid touching their eyes or mouth — actions clearly taken by Trump in the viral video. The president is also seen touching a podium microphone which is then touched by other speakers, including Anthony Fauci, the head of the Infectious Disease Department at the National Institutes of Health.
Trump was also asked by a reporter whether he took any responsibility for delays in implementing a coronavirus testing program, a delay that may have allowed the virus to spread at a more rapid rate than if testing were fully in place.Trump said that others were responsible for the testing delays.
"I don't take responsibility at all," Trump said, as quoted by Politico. Instead, he claimed that a "set of circumstances" and "rules, regulations and specifications from a different time" were responsible for the testing delays.
The president did not specify the circumstances he was referring to, however.
According to a Politico reporter who has covered the administration's coronavirus response, Trump himself slowed the initial testing because he feared that a spike in the number of cases could hurt his re-election chances.