The White House said Friday those who come into close proximity to President Trump or Vice President Pence will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test to protect the commander-in-chief and his number two from coronavirus.
The required tests, the White House said, will begin Friday for anyone working with the president or vice president in the coming days and weeks.
The new testing guidelines will only apply to people who will be in close contact with the president. This would include some staff members, as well as people who might be sitting beside him at a meeting.
The tests will be conducted on Abbott’s new rapid test machine. The president tested negative for coronavirus, for the second time, on Thursday, the White House said. That test was conducted with the new rapid point-of-care test that delivers results within 15 minutes.
“It took me literally a minute to take it,” Trump said at his daily press briefing Thursday. “I took it really out of curiosity.”
Trump appointed Pence to lead the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force in February, which is made up of top experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Both Trump and Pence are meeting with that task force daily.
The president also has regular meetings with members of his administration, including Attorney General Bill Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other top Pentagon officials.
Journalists in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room will not be required to receive the rapid coronavirus testing, Fox News has learned. Journalists, at this point, are required to have their temperatures taken before entering the briefing room each day to monitor and ensure safety for White House officials and other journalists in the room.
The president has meetings with top executives in the private sector. Those individuals would also be required to take a test.
Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence also were tested for COVID-19 after a staffer in the vice president’s office tested positive. Both Pence and his wife tested negative.