He said it was thought someone at CDC had the virus, but a test was negative.
President Donald Trump’s visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta was added back on Friday after the trip was initially called off because of concerns someone there may have contracted the novel coronavirus.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham informed reporters that the trip was back on the president’s Friday agenda during a flight from Washington, D.C., to Tennessee, where the president was to tour storm damage after a deadly tornado tore through the Nashville area earlier this week.
Initially, the White House said the visit had been called off because Trump didn’t want to “interfere with the CDC’s mission.”
But then the president revealed to reporters there was concern over a possibly infected CDC staffer and that he was hoping to get the CDC visit added back to his schedule.
“We may go — they thought there was a problem with CDC with somebody who had the virus,” he told reporters, adding that the person in question has been tested and it turned out negative.
“They’ve tested the person very fully and it was a negative test, so I may be going, and we’re going to see if they can turn it around,” Trump said.
Grisham said the possibly infected person was a CDC employee.
Trump made the remark as he signed the $8.3 billion emergency funding bill, passed Thursday by Congress, in a hastily arranged signing ceremony before departing the White House. Vice President Mike Pence had said Thursday that Trump would sign the measure at the CDC.
“I asked for $2.5 and I got $8.3, and I’ll take it,” Trump said as he signed the spending package.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stood by the president’s side as he signed the funding packing and provided an update on the government’s efforts to ramp up test kit capacity. He said the administration has been able to provide California and Washington with all the tests they have requested and that they are on target to ramp up production further, with up to 4 million tests set to be distributed by next week.