- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2020

The White House says anyone who wants to get close to President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will have to take a quick coronavirus test, as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surged beyond the quarter-million mark.

“As the physician to the president and White House operations continue to protect the health and safety of the president and vice president, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere said.

The test is the same one Mr. Trump received Thursday. The test, which takes just one minute to administer and offers results within 15 minutes, came back negative.

It was Mr. Trump’s second negative test, after a close call earlier this month in Florida. The president had dined at his Mar-a-Lago estate with a large group that included Brazilians who later tested positive.

The White House is now beefing up its protocols around the president out of an abundance of caution.

The new protocols will not apply to journalists who’ve been questioning Mr. Trump from a distance each day in the briefing room, though oil executives meeting with the president Friday will be taking the tests.

Mr. Trump’s doctors say the president is quite healthy. Yet he is 73 years old, putting him in an at-risk group if he catches the coronavirus disease.

Mr. Pence is 60 years old.

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