Trump feels the heat as coronavirus stalks US

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) said in a statement on Monday that he has chose to self-quarantine after being exposed to a CPAC attendee who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The members of Congress, who include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, self-isolated after they shook hands with an infected individual at a conference. But, his spokesperson said, "out of an abundance of caution. he'll remain at home until the 14 day period expires this Wednesday".

Some critics mocked Gaetz for wearing an oversized gas mask on the floor of Congress the week prior to his announcement.

Republican Matt Gaetz departs after he and two dozen other Republican lawmakers stormed into the room used by the House of Representatives.

Gaetz and Collins, who explicitly described their isolation measures as "self-quarantine", said over Twitter they met at least one person infected by the coronavirus at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland last month.

Mr Collins was with President Trump last Friday visiting the Atlanta, Georgia CDC headquarters where they were briefed on the virus' spread.

In another statement, Gaetz said his office in Washington is closed but his office in Florida is still open. Vice President Mike Pence said he himself had not been tested and he did not know if Trump had been, but promised to get an answer to the question shortly. The California Democrat also said she is closing her Washington D.C. office this week after the interaction with the individual who is now self-quarantining.

New virus outbreaks in China, abroad rekindle concerns
Before she eventually was tested, she visited a hotel, a hospital and the Daegu church attended by some 1,000 members. More than 400 coronavirus patients are now being treated in South Korea with many fearing that the number could rise.

From earlier today, Rep. Matt Gaetz exits the Beast with President Trump and then boards Air Force One.

The drama is focusing attention on the fact that the three men left vying for the White House are all in their mid-to-late 70s - a group with a high set of risk factors for coronavirus complications.

"While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have chose to self-quarantine at my home", Collins said in a statement. While the exposure occurred before the conference, the person still attended the event and is now in the care of medical professionals in New Jersey.

In the meantime, Gaetz is self-quarantining until this week, his office tweeted. Furthermore, news had also emerged that several lawmakers were exposed to the virus before meeting the president.

Hours before the news briefing Monday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham insisted President Trump was in great health and was taking the proper precautions, calling him "quite the hand-washer".

"This blindsided the world, and I think we've handled it very, very well", he said of the virus.

  • Sonia Alvarado