U.S. Donald Trump meets with Texas Governor Greg Abbott about coronavirus illness (COVID-19) response within the Oval Workplace on the White Home in Washington, Could 7, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday on the White Home, the president’s first scheduled occasion since information broke hours earlier than that certainly one of his private valets had examined optimistic for the coronavirus.
Trump’s unidentified valet, who’s a member of the navy, examined optimistic for the virus that causes Covid-19 on Wednesday. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have each examined unfavorable for the coronavirus since they realized of the valet’s prognosis, stated a White Home spokesman.
The aide, who’s now in quarantine, carried out private duties in proximity to Trump that included serving the president his meals.
Abbott, who’s a Republican like Trump and Pence, was examined for the coronavirus shortly earlier than the assembly, in line with his spokesman, John Wittman. Neither Abbott nor Trump wore masks on the assembly, because the CDC has really useful for anybody inside 6 ft of different individuals.
Throughout the assembly, Trump additionally denied having had shut contact with the sick valet. “I’ve had little or no private contact with this gentleman,” Trump advised reporters within the Oval Workplace. “I do know who he’s, good individual, however I’ve had little or no contact.”
Nonetheless, Trump stated, beginning Thursday he and Pence can be examined for coronavirus every day as a substitute of weekly, as had beforehand been the usual observe within the West Wing.
Abbott went ahead with the go to even though he seems to be in not less than two higher-risk classes in the case of the coronavirus: He’s over 60 years outdated and makes use of a wheelchair. An accident in 1984 left him partially paralyzed.
Individuals with spinal twine accidents have weaker immunosuppression capabilities than the overall inhabitants, in line with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Basis.
Carrying masks to mitigate coronavirus’ unfold has change into a polarizing challenge in historically Republican-leaning Texas. To date Abbott has sided firmly with these much less involved about contracting the virus and extra involved with reopening companies.
Abbott is certainly one of a number of governors, almost all Republican, who’ve determined to proceed with reopening of their states regardless of not having reached the diminished charges of an infection really useful by the CDC earlier than reopening. On Wednesday, Dallas County reported its highest variety of new coronavirus instances up to now, eclipsing the earlier file, set on Tuesday.
Trump has additionally refused to put on a masks, in opposition to the steering of federal well being officers.
The White Home has to this point declined to launch further details about the valet or about any elevated measures the president and people round him are taking to stop an infection. Senior White Home advisor Kellyanne Conway was requested in regards to the valet throughout an interview Thursday on Fox Information.
Conway answered with sarcasm. “I feel if anyone ought to begin carrying masks and exhibiting extra respect, it needs to be the media,” she stated.
Trump has famous to reporters this week that everybody round him is repeatedly examined.
“The take a look at end result comes again in 5 minutes, and now we have nice testing. Or they would not be allowed to journey with me,” Trump stated earlier than touring to Arizona to go to a Honeywell manufacturing unit in Phoenix that’s making tens of millions of N95 masks for the Protection Division. “It isn’t my alternative; it is a very robust group of people who wish to be certain they’re examined, together with Secret Service.”
Trump didn’t put on a masks throughout his tour of the Honeywell plant, regardless of indicators within the manufacturing unit reminding staff there to put on a masks always. The White Home has stated Honeywell officers advised Trump’s group that the president and different guests wouldn’t be required to put on masks.
— Christina Wilkie reported from Washington, D.C., and Dan Mangan reported from New York.