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Extraordinary presser: Journos have temps taken, Trump takes COVID-19 test, talks about restricting domestic travel

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Anyone who has come into close contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent days is having their temperature checked.

The administration announced Saturday that, “out of an abundance of caution,” the decision was made to take the temperatures of those who have been in close proximity to the president and vice president.

(Image: Washington Post/YouTube screenshot)

“Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

With the president scheduled to hold a press conference on the latest in the coronavirus outbreak and the administration’s efforts to address the pandemic, White House reporters waiting in the briefing area also had their temperatures checked.

One person was reportedly turned away because his temperature was too high.

Although Politico reporter Gabby Orr tweeted that the president had not yet been tested for the coronavirus, Trump said on Friday that he’d “most likely get tested.” On Saturday, he told reporters that he had his temperature taken before coming into the briefing room and has taken a COVID-19 test but is still awaiting the results.

Pence later noted that although he has not been tested, he and his wife Karen Pence would do so if the White House medical team advised them.

Trump spoke to reporters with an update on the administration’s actions, following his declaration of a national emergency on Friday as the United States has seen at least 2,174 confirmed cases and 49 deaths related to the virus.

“We’re using the full power of the federal government to defeat the virus,” the president said.

After announcing earlier this week that travel from Europe – excluding the U.K. and Ireland – would be restricted for 30 days, Trump noted a change as the restrictions were expanded to include those areas. Pence explained that  Americans currently overseas would be tested for the virus once they returned to certain U.S. airports.

Trump also noted that domestic travel restrictions, “specifically from certain areas,” were also under consideration

“If you don’t have to travel I wouldn’t do it… we want this thing to end,” he said.

“The president has really taken unprecedented action to protect the safety and the security of the American public,”  acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at the news conference.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams admonished reporters for “criticism or finger-pointing” at the administration’s coronavirus response.

“We really need you all to lean into and prioritize the health and safety of the American people,” Adams said at the briefing.

“No more bickering. No more partisanship. No more criticism or finger-pointing,” he continued. “There’ll be plenty of time for that.”

Frieda Powers

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