The Trump administration’s coronavirus task force had a moment of levity Monday when President Donald Trump playfully walked away from Dr. Deborah Birx, a panel member, after she revealed that she had a fever over the weekend and was tested for the virus.
She was negative.
“I think this is the part we really need to take personal responsibility for — Saturday, I had a little low-grade fever,” Birx, the response coordinator for the coronavirus task force, said when asked by a reporter about the administration’s guidelines after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tested positive.
Trump immediately, jokingly, stepped away from her at the podium in the White House briefing room.
“I’m meticulous. I’m a physician. I looked it up. … I got a test late Saturday night, and I’m negative,” Birx said before Trump said, “Phew.”
“That’s why each person has to be responsible,” Birx added. “Assume that everyone that you’re interacting with could be positive.”
Trump said he did not expect that the isolation of Americans during the outbreak, which has hurt the American economy, will last a few weeks. However, public health officials in the administration have warned that it would last much longer.
“I want America to understand, this week, it’s going to get bad,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in an interview Monday on “TODAY.” “Right now, there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously.”