US President Donald Trump has tested negative for the novel coronavirus for a second time and is "healthy" and not displaying any symptoms for the deadly disease, the White House physician has said.
Sean Conley, Trump's physician, did not provide any context for the second test. The doctor, however, said the president had been tested by a new rapid-point-of-care test that delivered results in 15 minutes. "The President tested negative for COVID-19," Conley, said on Thursday in a memorandum to the White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
"This morning, the President was tested again for COVID-19, utilising a new, rapid-point-of-care test capability. He is healthy and without symptoms. Sample collection took just one minute and results were reported back in 15 minutes," Conley said.
President Trump flashed a copy of his physician's memorandum to his press secretary during his daily White House news conference. "I did take a test. It just came out, this is from the White House physician," Trump said at the briefing while holding up the memo.
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"You may have it, just came out. I just took it this morning. And I took it, it took me literally a minute to take it and it took me - I guess it was 14 or 15 minutes (for results). I went to work, I didn't wait for it, but it said it took 14 minutes or something with a conclusion and it said the President tested negative for COVID-19," he was quoted as saying by the US media.
Trump added that he had taken the test "really out of curiosity to see how quickly it worked, how fast it worked." "It's a lot easier. I've done them both and the second one is much more pleasant," he said of his second test.
The president previously tested negative for the virus in mid-March after coming into contact with two persons who had tested positive. Trump's second test comes as more than a million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide and States across the US continue to hand down strict measures to slow down the spread of the COVID-19.
America wrestles with the coronavirus pandemic that the White House has warned could kill up to two lakh people during the next fortnight. A total of 1,002,159 COVID-19 cases have been reported across more than 175 countries and territories with51,485 deaths reported so far, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The US has reported 236,339 COVID-19 cases, the highest in the world, and over 5,000 people have died due to the disease. President Trump told reporters on Tuesday that the US was headed for a "very tough two weeks", advising people to be prepared for the "hard days" ahead.
Deborah Bix, a member of White House Task Force on coronavirus, based on a model from actual data from the ground, said the death toll in the US could be between 100,000 to 200,000, with the strict implementation of the existing mitigation measures including social distancing till April 30.