First lady Melania Trump tests negative for coronavirus: White House

Coronavirus
Melania Trump looks on as in the Oval Office at the White House on September 1, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Melania Trump looks on as in the Oval Office at the White House on September 1, 2017. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump tested negative for coronavirus, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told CNN Monday.

“Mrs. Trump got tested the same night as the President was tested, out of an abundance of caution. The test was negative,” Grisham said.

President Donald Trump first announced that the first lady had received a test during his remarks at a Monday evening White House coronavirus task force briefing with reporters. Asked by a reporter whether his wife had been tested, Trump said, “Yes,” and added that the first lady was “fine.” The President and first lady were tested at the White House on March 13, more than one week ago.

Vice President Mike Pence — who has been the Trump administration’s point person on coordinating the government’s response to the pandemic — and second lady Karen Pence were tested Saturday for the virus after it was revealed a member of the vice president’s staff had tested positive for Covid-19. The Pences each tested negative.

LISTEN: The Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction Podcast

During the Monday press briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus task force coordinator, announced that after experiencing a “little low-grade fever” over the weekend, she too was tested and found negative for the disease.

“[It was] probably a GI thing, but you know, I’m meticulous. I’m a physician,” Birx said. “I got a test late Saturday night, and I’m negative. I stayed home another day just to make sure. That’s how we protect one another.” When Birx said from the podium that she had had a fever, Trump made a gesture in a joking manner, saying “Uh-oh” and moving several steps away from Birx.

As officials work to increase the availability of the Covid-19 tests, they’ve also sought to make clear in what cases people should seek them, urging Americans to use discretion before seeking a test and advising that they be administered to people who are symptomatic and not for those who do not show signs that they could be infected with the disease.

“We want to remind Americans … if you don’t have symptoms, don’t do a test,” Pence said Saturday. “It is another way that the American people can make sure that we are preserving the resources that our health care workers need to administer and support those who are dealing with the coronavirus and other illnesses.”

State health officials on Monday reported more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day for the first time since the outbreak, according to a tally from CNN Health, surpassing 500 total deaths nationwide.

Last week, the first lady ramped up her participation in highlighting the pandemic after several days of relative silence by recording a pair of public service announcements.

In the first of two pre-recorded PSAs about the virus, she focused on reassurance.

“This is not how we will live forever,” she said, standing in the Cross Hall of the White House State Floor. “I urge you to stay connected … via safe technologies.”

Her second message was directed specifically to those who have children, saying: “Hello, parents of America. I want to speak with you about a few practical ways your family can stay healthy during this time of disruption because of the coronavirus.”

She outlined steps like proper hand-washing, limiting touching, maintaining social distance, staying home when sick and letting their children know normal life will resume.

“Keep a positive attitude, and try to create some time for fun with your loved ones,” the first lady said.

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