Vice President Mike Pence will not get tested for coronavirus after a White House physician said it wasn’t necessary at this time, a White House official said on Sunday.
Pence, who heads the administration’s coronavirus task force, told reporters Saturday he would consult with his physician about whether he needed to be tested after President Donald Trump told reporters he had been. The White House later announced Trump’s test came back negative.
The official said the vice president did consult with the doctor and they recommended that he didn’t need to be tested at this time based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
The CDC’s website currently advises: “Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.”
Trump took the test after it was revealed he had contact with multiple people who had since tested positive for coronavirus. He announced he had taken the test about 12 hours after Dr. Sean Conley, his White House physician, issued a memo saying a test wasn’t necessary.
The White House on Saturday said it would begin conducting temperature checks on individuals who come in close contact with Trump and Pence. Before the briefing Saturday, the White House task force and members of the press had their temperatures taken. One reporter who was tested registered a temperature of 99.9 degrees and was turned away from the briefing.
Pence did attend the Republican Senate lunch last week. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who also attended, was tested for coronavirus Friday night after experiencing a fever and flu-like symptoms. She is self-quarantining as she awaits the results, a committee spokesman said in a statement Saturday, though it’s not clear if she came in contact with the vice president. Her spokesman said she did not come in close contact with Trump.
As of Sunday morning, there were more than 3,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and the disease had resulted in at least 61 deaths, according to figures from state and local health agencies, governments and the CDC. Officials expect the number of cases to rise in the coming days and weeks, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, saying the US has “not reached our peak,” in terms of novel coronavirus cases in the US.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Sunday that he, like the vice president, will also not be tested for coronavirus at this time.