Trump confirms first lady tests negative for coronavirus

2020-03-24 05:43:49 GMT2020-03-24 13:43:49(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. first lady Melania Trump has tested for the coronavirus and the result is negative, President Donald Trump told reporters Monday at the White House.

"She's fine," Trump said when asked at a news briefing about the first lady's condition, "negative, yes."

This is the first time Trump has confirmed that his wife is uninfected with the disease. He himself tested negative as well.

"The first lady was tested on the same night as President Trump was tested, out of an abundance of caution. The test was negative," CNN quoted White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham as saying.

Trump underwent the test on March 13. First daughter Ivanka Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have also tested for the virus and the results are all negative.

Trump hosted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his entourage at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month. The president dined with Bolsonaro and his press secretary, who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Ivanka Trump took the test after learning that an Australian official she met in early March tested positive for COVID-19.

The first lady, also as a senior adviser to the president, worked from home for a week out of caution and returned to her job at the White House on Friday.

A staff member of Pence's office recently tested positive for the virus, but Pence said Saturday that White House doctor had "no reason to believe" he was exposed to the sickened individual. The vice president is now leading the White House coronavirus task force.

The disease has also spread to Capitol Hill, hitting lawmakers in both chambers of Congress.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Republican from the state of Kentucky, confirmed Sunday that he tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first member of the upper chamber of Congress to contract the virus.

Currently under self-quarantine, Paul is asymptomatic and expects to return to work after the isolation, according to a statement on his official Twitter account.

The senator's contraction came as two members of the House, Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Ben McAdams of Utah, tested positive last Wednesday.

Confirmed cases and fatalities both have been surging nationwide, reaching 46,332 and 610, respectively, according to the latest data released by Johns Hopkins University updated Monday at 10:49 p.m. ET.

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