Rumors have swirled online about President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence potentially being infected with COVID-19 after both were exposed to the virus in recent weeks. Still, both Trump and Pence insist that the've received testing and do not have coronavirus, despite multiple politicians contracting it. After world leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even Ivanka Trump were suspected of being exposed to coronavirus, and criticism over Trump's coronavirus exposures continues to mount, the White House decided to announce that First Lady Melania Trump did, in fact, receive a coronavirus test — and it was negative.
According to the White House, Melania and her husband took the test at the same time, though her husband’s results were announced last week. At a press conference last night, it was announced Melania also tested negative. However, it begged the question — why was the first lady tested at all?
Currently, the CDC and other health care experts have stressed the urgency of not assuming you’re not sick, given that many asymptomatic people have further spread the disease because they appeared to be perfectly healthy. In that case, perhaps Melania was tested from exposure to government officials she’s had regular contact with who tested positive, though none were reportedly in contact with her directly. It still remains to be seen who in the White House or other places Melania has been might have been infected.
Despite this, Trump refused to get a test until last week, despite being exposed to multiple carriers. And in the last week alone, recommendations for seeking out COVID-19 testing have changed due to continued shortages across the country. Celebrities and politicians have since come under fire for seemingly getting preferential testing done rather than remaining isolated or quarantined like many others with symptoms are instructed to do during this time.
Although Melania was not reportedly exposed to coronavirus or showing any symptoms, she was still given a test, during a time when they are hard to come by. The White House has not yet spoken about the shortage of tests and any preferred treatment being given to public figures, though it's clear from the results and numerous reports of others seeking out testing that the shortage is continuing to plague even those with actual symptoms.
But, for now, Melania remains healthy and prepared to help Americans during unprecedented times of crisis. Following her own test, the first lady released a public service announcement about the coronavirus pandemic, promising that the social precautions we must take right now, like social distancing, is “not how we’ll live forever.”
“Our children will return to school, people will return to work, we will gather at the places of worship, concerts, and sporting events again," the first lady says in the PSA, adding, "I urge you to stay connected to family and loved ones with video chats, phone calls, and social media."