Trump tests negative for the coronavirus, his doctor says

The White House also announced Saturday that the European travel ban would be expanded to include the U.K. and Ireland.

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By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, his doctor announced Saturday.

Trump had taken the test Friday to determine whether he has the virus and said it would take a "day or two" for the results to come back from the lab.

"One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom free,” his physician, Sean P. Conley, said in a statement.

Trump, who has continued to shake hands with people, including during his announcement Friday at the White House that he was declaring a national emergency, despite the CDC's recommendation to limit physical contact, told reporters that "it almost becomes a habit."

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The White House also announced that they would expand the European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning midnight on Monday.

"Again, Americans in the U.K. or Ireland can come home," Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday. "Legal residents can come home."

Trump had initially said during his Oval Office address on Monday night that Ireland and the U.K. were exempt from the ban, although it was unclear why the exception was made because the virus is also present in Britain.

The White House also suggested that domestic travel restrictions could be a possibility. On Friday, the Department of Defense announced they were halting domestic travel for all service members, civilian employees and their families in an effort to combat the coronavirus.

“We’re considering a broad range of measures,” Pence said when asked about the possibility of domestic travel restrictions.

Trump had been repeatedly criticized for refusing to get tested for the virus after it was reported that he was in close contact with multiple people at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump's announcement that he had gotten tested appears to be in contrast to a Friday memo from Sean P. Conley, physician to the president, stating that Trump did not need to be tested because the interactions he had with known patients were "low risk."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended testing for people who have had "close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19" or have experienced "potential exposure through attendance at events or spending time in specific settings where COVID-19 cases have been reported."

When asked by reporters Saturday to explain the discrepancy between Trump's announcement and the White House physician's memo, Pence said he would "speak immediately after this press conference with the White House physicians office," but did not provide a direct answer.

Pence said that he and his wife did not have any symptoms, but were "more than happy to be tested.”

During his remarks Saturday, Trump said he had his temperature taken before entering into the press briefing room.

“I had my temperature taken coming into the room,” Trump said. “We are all looking good," he said, later adding that his temperature was "totally normal."

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Prior to the briefing, a member of the White House Physician’s Office took temperatures of every member of the press corps in attendance.

“Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere.

A member of the press was turned away from the press conference after registering a 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

The House of Representatives passed a coronavirus aid package early Saturday morning in a bipartisan vote that includes free testing, paid emergency leave and other resources intended to help stem the crisis and stabilize financial markets. The Senate is expected to vote on the aid package early next week.