Trump says he’s been tested, extends travel ban to Britain and Ireland

Three Mar-a-Lago visitors have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters alongside Vice President Mike Pence and the coronavirus task force in the briefing room in the White House in Washington March 14. Al Drago/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he was tested for the coronavirus.

Trump, wearing a “USA” baseball cap, held a news conference Saturday in which he announced that he had been tested for the coronavirus Friday night, after which Vice President Mike Pence officially announced that the administration was extending its European travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Whether the president would be tested had been a matter of speculation since it first emerged that a member of a Brazilian delegation that visited Mar-a-Lago had tested positive. Two other people who were with the president at Mar-a-Lago have tested positive, and various members of Congress have been self-isolating after interacting with some of the same people.


Trump said he decided to be tested for the coronavirus after Friday’s news conference.

“People were asking, did I take the test,” he said.

Asked when he expected to have the result, Trump said, “A day, two days.”

“They send it to a lab,” he said.

The White House has begun checking the temperatures of anyone in close contact with Trump or Pence. White House staff checked the temperatures of everyone arriving at the news conference.

Reporters pressed Trump about “mixed messages,” asking about why he shook hands with a row of chief executives who attended his news conference Friday where he announced a national emergency.

“It almost becomes a habit, and you get out of that habit,” he said, noting that “getting away from shaking hands is a good thing.”

Pence said the federal government is extending a travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland, effective midnight Monday.

Trump also praised the stock market gains that took place Friday when he announced a national emergency to deal with the coronavirus health crisis.

“I was honored to see that the stock market set a record in a short period of time,” Trump said, adding that his takeaway was that he should hold a news conference “five times a day.”


While it may have been the biggest jump in raw numbers in terms of percentage, it was not considered a record day in stock market gains.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on