There is growing concern that President Donald Trump and others in the administration and White House may have been exposed to the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
The president was photographed with a member of a Brazilian delegation that recently visited with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida who has since tested positive for the viral infection.
As a precaution, the government of Brazil is now urging the White House to undergo “necessary preventive measures” to ensure that everyone is protected from any further potential exposure to the virus, the Washington Examiner reported.
Brazilian government warns White House
In a translated statement issued by the office of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the office said, “The Brazilian government has already communicated the occurrence to United States government officials so that the necessary preventive measures can be adopted.”
The precaution comes from the fact that President Trump hosted Bolsonaro and some of his aides at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday to discuss a variety of issues of mutual concern. It was discovered later that one of Bolsonaro’s top advisors, who was photographed standing alongside Trump, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Brazilian statement noted that the aide has been quarantined “until he is no longer at risk of transmitting the disease.” Further, Bolsonaro’s office said, “The Medical Service of the Office of the President has been adopting all necessary precautionary measures to protect the health of the president and of the presidential delegation who accompanied him on a recent trip to the United States, as well as the health of the workers in the presidential palace.
Confusion over Bolsonaro’s status
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who attended the meeting at Mar-a-Lago and was “in the same room” as the infected staffer, announced on Thursday that he would be quarantining himself as a precaution even though he felt fine and showed no symptoms of being sick.
As for President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, “Both the president and vice president had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time.”
However, there is nonetheless some cause for concern, particularly after it was initially reported that Bolsonaro himself had tested positive for the coronavirus only for that report to then be reversed a short time later.
The New York Post reported on Friday morning that, according to local Brazilian media, Bolsonaro had tested positive and was spotted wearing a face mask as he essentially kept himself quarantined in his official residence.
However, The Guardian reported that Bolsonaro is disputing those local media reports. In fact, his son Eduardo appeared on Fox News on Friday and said of his father, “The test is negative,” while President Bolsonaro himself took to Twitter and declared, “Do not believe in the media fake news.”
Given the fact that at least one of President Bolsonaro’s aides has tested positive for the coronavirus, not to mention the confusion over Bolsonaro’s status, there is a legitimate and justifiable concern over whether President Trump and others in his circle may have been exposed to the virus. You can bet that the White House is closely monitoring the situation.