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White House COVID-19 Screening Suddenly Becomes Voluntary, Temp Checks Disappear

During his Tulsa rally, President Donald Trump declared that he had asked for COVID-19 testing to decrease, because more testing equals more results, and positive cases, he says, make him look bad. The White House later said this statement was “tongue-in-cheek.” However, it appears Trump may be serious about reducing testing of those around him. According to White House press correspondents, testing sites at the president’s residence are coming down, and screening will now be voluntary.

COVID testing sites removed at White House
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Donald Trump has railed against testing throughout the pandemic crisis, saying that testing is increasing the number of positive cases. At his rally in Tulsa, he even declared that he’d ordered for testing to be slowed down, so that there would be fewer cases. Later he tweeted a ‘clarification,’ saying that his message has been clear: so much testing makes it look like we have more cases.

Throughout the past months, anyone getting close to the president has been expected to go through screening for the virus. Press conferences have typically involved social distancing and masks. However, according to WHite House news correspondents, this has been changing.

Earlier this month, Jim Acosta, who covers the White House for CNN, shared that chairs had been moved closer together in the Rose Garden after initially being set up for social distancing.

Now, Monica Alba, a correspondent for NBC, says that the tents that were set up for screening journalists as they arrived at the White House are being dismantled, and there was no temperature check or regular screening.

Another White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins for CNN, says she’s been told that White House staff got an email that there would no longer be screenings at the entrances, and all screenings would be voluntary.

SIx staffers who went ahead to set up Trump’s Tulsa rally tested positive for the coronavirus. According to the New York Times, the president was angry that this information was made public.

Removing testing sites at the White House will not prevent the spread of COVID-19, but may reduce public knowledge of any cases in or around the President’s immediate circle.



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