Trump’s CDC Back Visit on After CDC Worker Tests Negative for Coronavirus

Melanie Arter | March 6, 2020 | 10:04am EST
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(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( – President Donald Trump’s visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta is back on despite it initially being cancelled because of concerns that a CDC worker may have the coronavirus.

He initially cancelled his visit and was planning to send HHS Secretary Alex Azar in his place after a CDC worker was suspected of having the coronavirus or COVID-19.

The person tested negative for the coronavirus.

During a signing ceremony for the $8.3 billion coronavirus bill, Trump was asked why he wasn’t going to the CDC, and he indicated that the visit may still happen if they can coordinate it with the Secret Service.

“He’s actually sent me. I’m gonna go down,” Azar interjected.

“We may go,” Trump said. “They thought there was a problem at CDC with somebody that had the virus. It turned out negative so we're seeing if we can do it, but yesterday afternoon we were informed that there may have been a person with the virus, and they now find out that that was a negative test. They've tested the person very fully, and it was a negative test. So I may be going.” 

While signing the coronavirus bill into law, the president said he asked for $2.5 billion and got $8.3 billion, “and I'll take it.” 

“We did very well, but it’s an unforeseen problem, what a problem, came out of nowhere. We’re taking care of it. We have big news on the ship. A lot of things are happening on the ship. People are being tested right now,” Trump said, referring to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California.

A former passenger who traveled from San Francisco to Mexico in mid-February became the state’s first fatality from the coronavirus. Another former passenger was tested positive for the coronavirus. Thousands of people who were on the cruise ship with them and may have been exposed to the virus are being tracked down by health officials.

Ten crew members and 11 passengers currently on board the ship have exhibited symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Test kits were flown in to the cruise ship, and test results are expected on Friday.

Trump said he just spoke to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and “had a good conversation.”

“We're both working on the ship together. It’s close to 5,000 people, so it's a big ship. We're doing testing on those people, okay?” he said.

Azar announced that they “have provided all the tests for the state of Washington and the state of California that they've asked for.”

“The production and shipping of tests that we've talked about all week is completely on schedule,” he said. “All of the CDC tests, the tests that are available to test up to 75,000 people CDC has shipped to America's public health labs. Those are out. 

“Then IDT, the private contractor working with CDC to ship to the private sector and hospitals, has already shipped enough tests for 700,000 tests, and the remaining lots are arriving at CDC this morning for quality control and should get out as we forecast this weekend and then next week we'll keep ramping up production. So as many as 4 million tests next week are going to be driving forward, so everything is on schedule for the tests,” he said.

Meanwhile, three people in Maryland tested positive for the coronavirus, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday. A married couple in their 70s and a woman in her 50s contracted the virus while traveling overseas.

As a result, Hogan has issued a state of emergency proclamation for the state.


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