Two Republican Congressmen who have been in close contact with Donald Trump in the past few days have quarantined themselves because they fear they will be in contact with a known corona virus carrier during the same period.
Republicans Matt Gaetz of Florida and Doug Collins of Georgia announced on Monday that they have started two weeks of self-inflicted isolation, as recommended by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for anyone exposed to the virus came. Both Congressmen said they were asymptomatic.
Gaetz flew Trump on Air Force One from Orlando to Washington on Monday, and was informed on the way that he had come into contact with a virus carrier at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland last month.
“While the congressman has no symptoms, he was tested today and is expecting results soon,” said a message on Gaetz’s Twitter account.
Collins greeted Trump with a handshake at an Atlanta airport on Friday before the two visited CDC headquarters to learn about the corona virus. Collins later learned that he might also have been exposed at the conservative conference held in Maryland each year.
Health experts have warned that coronavirus is likely to be widespread in the U.S. and encourages vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, to stay at home as much as possible. In the US, dozens of deaths from the virus have been recorded from hundreds of confirmed cases, but test rates were low.
The White House denied reports on Monday that, like many other organizations, it had issued internal guidelines to limit daily personal contact and curb the spread of the virus.
Trump incorrectly claimed that the virus was “contained” in the United States and accused the media and Democrats of exaggerating the threat it posed to hurt him. The virus is not included.
Trump didn’t answer a question from reporters on Monday whether he had been tested for the virus.
In a press conference on Monday, Pence said he didn’t know if Trump had been tested. “I just don’t know what the White House doctor recommended to the President,” said Pence. “We’ll let you know tonight.”
Gaetz and Collins were two of Trump’s loudest supporters during the hearings and trial.
Gaetz had worn a giant gas mask during a House Floor vote last week over an emergency coronavirus response finance package, but was later generally convicted when one of his own voters died of the disease.
Gaetz and Collins join the conservative politician Ted Cruz, who is also in self-quarantine. The Texas senator had attended the same event and met the same infected person.