Trump and Pence refuse coronavirus test despite having dinner with Bolsonaro aide who tested positive

Evie Breese@Evie_Breese
Friday 13 March 2020 10:00
news

Last week president Trump had dinner with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro at Mar-a-Lago.

Accompanied by aides, his daughter Ivanka and Mike Pence, Trump posed for photos with a “Make Brazil Great Again" hat and everything seemed pretty jovial. But days later, a Brazilian official who attended the dinner was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Communications aide Fabio Wajngarten was confirmed to have coronavirus just days after meeting Trump and posing for a photo with vice president Mike Pence.

Given that we know that transmission happens most frequently between people standing within about 6 feet of each other, he probably should get tested.

From the picture, it looks like the pair were a lot less then six feet away from each other.

After his meeting with the Brazilian delegation, Trump hosted a dinner for Bolsonaro and his aides. But Pence did not stay for the dinner, an aide said, and had not received any guidance from his physician that he needed to be tested or quarantined.

Playing down Trump’s level of exposure, 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.

Boris Johnson is also refusing to be tested after coming into contact with Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, at a No10 reception celebrating International Women’s Day. The prime minister’s pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds joined him at the event.

It is currently unknown who infected the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, but health officials are focusing on tracking down and testing the potentially hundreds of people she came in to contact with, including her constituents and members of parliament.

Downing Street have claimed that Johnson has no symptoms of coronavirus “so there is no need for a test”. Yet we know that symptoms of the virus can take five days to show, it is plausible that he has the virus but is not yet symptomatic.

With both national leaders working in close contact with the most important officials in the country, if they’ve been infected they need to self-isolate, and self isolate now.

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