On Saturday, President Donald Trump revealed that he has now been tested for the coronavirus. He gave a press conference in the afternoon, updating reporters on his European travel ban and other efforts to stop the spread of the illness. As an aside, he added that he has now been tested and is awaiting the results.
The president addressed reporters in the White House on Saturday afternoon, wearing a navy blue suit and matching baseball hat from his own campaign merchandise store. He announced that he would be adding the U.K. and Ireland to his temporary travel ban in the hopes of stopping the flow of coronavirus infections into the U.S. When asked by MSNBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell, he also said that he has now been tested for the virus himself.
"By the way, I had my temperature taken coming into the room," he said. "I also took the test the last night. I decided I should based on the press conference last night, people were asking, did I take the test."
WATCH: President Trump tells @KellyO that he has now been tested for coronavirus, and he is awaiting the results of the test; he also asks public to work to get out of habit of shaking hands to help avoid spreading coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/ZS2mzZpP0f— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 14, 2020
Asked when the American people would hear the results of his coronavirus test, the president said: "I don't know, whatever it takes. A day? Two days? Whatever it is, they send it to a lab."
One reporter in the room asked why the president had chosen to take the test after his administration said that there was no reason to worry about his health. He responded: "only because the press is going crazy about it."
O'Donnell then suggested that the president was ending "mixed messages," alternately assuring the public that there was no cause for alarm and then seeking out a test for himself, as other parts of the country are struggling with shortages of testing kits. She also pointed out that the president has continued to shake hands with other politicians and world leaders, and asked if he is changing any of his personal behavior in light of the pandemic.
The president spoke at length about hand-shaking, saying it is a habit all people are working to break, but it is "a reflex." He did not address concerns about world leaders he has come into contact with, including Brazilian President Jai Bolsanaro, who reportedly tested positive for coronavirus after spending a weekend at Mar-a-Lago.0comments
The fact that he had been tested for coronavirus was mentioned as a side note to a press conference about new travel restrictions on the U.K. and Ireland, where coronavirus is reportedly still on the rise. Americans who are currently abroad will still be allowed to return home, according to Vice President Mike Pence. European Union Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued a joint statement disavowing President Trump's travel ban.
"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation," they said, according to Fox News. "The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus."