President Donald Trump and the White House staff will be tested daily for the coronavirus after a Navy valet who worked in the West Wing tested positive for the disease.
'I've had very little contact, personal contact with this gentleman,' Trump said of the valet.
That is highly unlikely given that a valet's duties include serving the president his meals, taking care of his wardrobe and traveling with him.
Trump noted, however, that the internal White House policy on testing will change from once a week to once a day at a time coronavirus testing is not available for the general public. Trump also said he was tested Wednesday and Thursday and was negative.
'It just shows you what I've been saying, testing is not a perfect no matter what you do, testing is not a perfect art so we test once a week,' the president said. 'Now we are going to go testing once a day.'
Trump also said his wife Melania and son Barron were fine.
'They're in good shape,' he said.
President Donald Trump and the White House staff will be tested daily for the coronavirus after a Navy valet who worked in the West Wing tested positive for the disease
The changes came after a Navy official who acts as one of the president's personal valets tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to questions about how exposed the president was and what precautions he should take going forward.
Early guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommended a 14-day self-quarantine if a person came into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, which has infected more than 1.2 million Americans and caused more than 74,000 deaths.
But Trump said he would not be quarantined because he is 'essential.'
'Mike was just saying the word essential. Essential workers and as you know essential workers are immune,' the president said, referring to a conversation with the vice president, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Vice President Pence said 'essential' workers were exempt from quarantining.
'But with regard to essential workers the president referred to, we've always had an exception,' Pence noted.
'We've asked them to continue to go to work by every countermeasures including testing to make sure they're not contracting the disease. In an effort that they would come into contact with the president will be testing every day, and keeping the essential work moving forward in our national response is the priority going forward,' Pence noted.
President Trump said he would not self-quarantine after contact with a staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus
The White House uses the Abbott Labs test, which provide results in about 15 minutes
Vice President Mike Pence said he and the president were 'essential' workers who would not be quarantined
The valet who tested positive was part of the White House Military Office, an elite group of officers and enlisted men who are assigned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The valet is not being identified but his duties included serving the president his meals - Trump likes hamburgers and steak - and accompanying the president on trips. In other words the valet was believed to have regular contact with Trump.
'There is no one closer to the president physically, outside of his family, than the valets,' Kate Andersen Brower author of 'The Residence' - a book about the White House staff - told DailyMail.com.
She described the valets as 'very elite and they serve the president only.'
These enlisted service men - who wear dark suits instead of military uniforms - would bring Trump one of his beloved diet cokes and take care of his wardrobe, making sure his suits are pressed and shoes are shined. They also will travel with him and bring a go bag that contains all the necessary items for a trip, such as favorite snacks. Trump's bag would likely include hand sanitizer given his preference for using it.
Brower's 2016 book outlines a valet's duties: 'The task of tending to the president's more personal needs is handled by valets, who are always close at hand. There are typically two valets who work in shifts. They are military personnel who take care of the president's clothes, run errands, shine shoes, and work with the housekeepers. For example, if the president's shoes need to be resoled, a valet alerts a member of the Housekeeping Shop. When the president goes to the Oval Office in the morning, a valet stands close by in case he needs anything, including a cup of coffee, breakfast, or just a cough drop. When the president travels, a valet packs for him and often rides in a backup vehicle in the motorcade, carrying a spare shirt or tie in case the commander in chief spills something and needs a quick change of clothes.'
Administration officials have argued the temperature checks at the White House gate and coronavirus tests for people meeting with the