Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis is “tragic” and “very sad,” but predictable, given his frequent contact with crowds.
“This is tragic, it’s very sad, but it also is something that again going into crowds unmasked… was a brazen invitation for something like this to happen,” the speaker told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Friday.
President Trump and first lady Melania announced they’d tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning, after traveling with Trump aide Hope Hicks — who tested positive for the virus hours earlier — to Trump’s Duluth, Minn., campaign event.
According to a source familiar with the circumstances, Hicks began showing symptoms of coronavirus Wednesday night, either during or after the event. She was quarantined aboard Air Force One on the way back and tested positive on Thursday morning, the source said.
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Pelosi said she was “nonetheless hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about.”
Pelosi also divulged that she’d been tested for the virus, after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, close adviser to the president, this week to discuss coronavirus relief. Pelosi is third in line for the presidency.
Mnuchin revealed Friday he tested negative.
“Out of an abundance of caution I was tested. I don’t have the results yet but hopefully soon,” Pelosi said.
“I have concerns about the test because obviously, the tests that are happening at the White House are not as accurate as they should be,” she continued.
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“That’s a discussion that we have to have especially when it has led to the exposure of the president of the United States,” she said. “That should have been avoided.”
The White House tests people around the president daily to ensure the health and safety of the first family. But the rapid tests with quick turnaround are considered less accurate than tests that are sent out to labs for evaluations and can take days for results to come in.
Pelosi re-upped her calls for Republicans to pass coronavirus relief legislation and said Trump’s positive diagnosis has changed the dynamics of the ongoing negotiations.
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“None of us is safe,” Pelosi said, “until we are sure that everybody is safe.”