Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is among the group of lawmakers who recently announced they are on a self-imposed quarantine, due to exposure to a person with coronavirus at a recent GOP event.
His office said the North Carolina Republican tested negative for COVID-19 and has zero symptoms, but is taking the action “out of an abundance of caution.” He joins fellow Republican lawmakers—including Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida—who said they were in contact with the individual at CPAC. None are experiencing any symptoms.
Gaetz was spotted riding on Air Force One last week as he learned the news. White House officials said when Gaetz learned he was in proximity to the man with coronavirus at CPAC, he sat by himself in a section of the president’s plane. He told the Washington Post that by the end of the flight, Trump “coaxed” him to the front of the plane. Gaetz told the paper that Trump didn’t seem “hyper-cautious about being in the same space that I was in.”
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke at CPAC, but the White House said there was no indication that either had met or been in “close proximity” to the infected attendee.
The number of individuals who were in contact with the individual has raised concerns about whether the president was exposed. However, Stephanie Grisham, the White House spokeswoman, said Trump has not taken a COVID-19 test because he did not have prolonged, close contact with any patients. She also said that he has no symptoms, but will be closely monitored by his physician.