Trump to be tested for Covid-19 every day despite repeatedly saying testing is 'overrated'
Trump and Pence have been rested after coming in contact with the valet who served meals to the president. Both the commander-in-chief and his deputy tested negative for coronavirus
President Donald Trump on Thursday, May 7, said testing for Covid-19 is "somewhat overrated" shortly after revealing that he will be tested for the disease every day.
Vice President Mike Pence said that those who are coming in contact with the president will also have to conduct daily tests. Testing for the virus has remained a controversy in the Trump administration's response to the outbreak that has hit over 1.2 million people in the country and killed more than 75,000.
The new policy of daily testing for the president and those around him came hours after the White House acknowledged that one of Trump’s personal valets, a member of the US military, has tested positive for coronavirus.
Trump and Pence have been rested after coming in contact with the valet who served meals to the president. Both the commander-in-chief and his deputy tested negative for coronavirus.
"I've had very little personal contact with this gentleman," Trump said in the Oval Office alongside Pence. "I know who he is, good person, but I've had very little contact."
The president touted the quality and quantity of tests being done in the US although adding that he found it "somewhat overrated". "But I have always said testing is somewhat overrated. Because what happens after somebody takes a test, what’s going on there?" he asked.
"We were testing once a week, now we're going to go testing once a day, but even when you test once a day, someone could, something happens where they catch something," Trump said. "What happens in between when you got tested, and just a couple of days later?"
In the middle of March, Trump underwent a test for the virus after Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive following a visit to a dinner with the two presidents at Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Both Trump and Bolsonaro tested negative.
The Trump administration had previously blamed the previous administration for inheriting a “broken test” that didn’t work when the initial testing for coronavirus was done.
According to a BBC fact-checking report that came out in April, the US did have faulty tests to start with after the White House conceded that the first batch sent out by the government’s central health body did not produce any conclusive result.
But these tests were introduced in February under the Trump administration and hence were not inherited or old, the report added. In the early part of March, the White House said the US lacked adequate testing kits but it was given a significant boost since then.
In late April, the White House released a guidance pushing the responsibility for Covid-19 testing on to the states — something many saw as a political strategy.
But when several states made a move towards reopening and it put pressure on the Trump administration to accelerate testing, the president took to sending mixed messages around the testing targets with the states bearing most of the burden, the Guardian reported.