Not long after news broke that Donald Trump‘s personal valet tested positive for coronavirus, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official Dr. Cyrus Shahpar is urging the president to enter a 14-day quarantine, Raw Story reported.
“And that means staying home, no visitors, separating yourself from others, monitoring for symptoms, wearing a face covering when you’re around others … that would be the recommendation,” he said while speaking to CNN’s John King on Thursday.
Despite Trump’s negative test results, Shahpar said it would be “unwise” for him to continue his presidential schedule with no changes to account for the recent news. According to Shahpar, the president should consider his presence in the public eye and “set an example” by entering a 14-day quarantine.
While it’s unclear if Trump will quarantine, the valet will undergo quarantine at his residence along with any required medical care.
As reported by The Washington Post, the White House implemented coronavirus safety protocols almost two months ago. In April, the Trump administration began administering rapid tests approximately once weekly to all individuals in the president’s inner circle.
Before the recent scare, Trump had contacted multiple people who later tested positive for coronavirus when he visited his Mar-a-Lago club in early March.
Rep. Doug Collins — now voluntarily in self-quarantine after interacting with a coronavirus-infected person at CPAC — shook hands with President Trump on Friday ahead of his CDC visit. pic.twitter.com/At5at2Wsoz
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) March 9, 2020
Medical experts say self-isolation is vital because the incubation period of coronavirus is an average of five to 10 days, which means some positive carriers will not show symptoms and be contagious up to two weeks after exposure to the virus, per Global News.
“That 14-day [period] is given as it is easy to remember, with a little bit of a buffer zone,” said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti.
“So if you have been potentially exposed, and you have not shown symptoms for 14 days, you essentially do not have COVID-19.”
According to internal medicine physician Dr. Lukasz Kwapisz, failing to quarantine for 14 days will increase the likelihood of the virus’ spread and risk overwhelming hospitals.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch claims that China and South Korea have seen “tremendous benefits” from their social distancing policies. China currently has 82,855 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday — although some dispute the number — and South Korea has 10,810.
Despite public health expert advice, Trump has expressed support for anti-lockdown protesters that have been engaging in rallies around the country. The move comes as the president continues to face pressure from Republican allies and business leaders to reopen the United States economy. However, according to political scientist Daniel Drezner, Trump’s attempt to rally his base by supporting such protests is destined to backfire.