President Trump, a self-described germaphobe, quickly moved away from the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force on Monday after she revealed she was tested for the virus over the weekend after running a low fever.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who is among the officials leading the administration’s response to the virus, was responding to a question about how Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was able to obtain a COVID-19 test despite being asymptomatic and not knowingly coming into contact with any infected individuals.
Birx responded that it’s important for Americans to take personal responsibility to act as if they may have come into contact with someone with the virus to avoid spreading it before revealing that she had been tested over the weekend.
“Saturday, [I] had a little low grade fever,” Birx said.
“Uh oh,” Trump said before throwing his hands up and quickly backing away from Birx to the edge of the stage in the White House briefing room.
“So, actually probably a GI thing, but you know I’m meticulous. I’m a physician,” Birx said. “I looked it up… so 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.”
“Unless everybody’s taking their temp everyday we can’t say he had no symptoms,” she continued. “These are the kind of things we have to do for one another. This is the personal responsibility that I’m talking about that we all have to practice.”
Dr. Birx: "I was not here over the weekend…Saturday, I had a little low-grade fever…"
President Trump: "Uh, oh."
Dr. Birx: "I got a test late Saturday night and I am negative. I stayed home another day just to make sure. That's how we protect each other." pic.twitter.com/zi2GT1wnDX
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 23, 2020
Trump was also tested for the virus earlier this month after coming into contact with multiple individuals who either had gone into self-quarantine or tested positive for the virus. He tested negative.