In a notable switch, the White House on Monday ordered staffers to wear masks after two employees tested positive last week for the Coronavirus, as new precautions were undertaken in public to keep President Trump away from federal health experts in an afternoon event on virus testing in the Rose Garden.
"I see everybody, just about everybody has a face mask on," the President said, standing in front of a big banner hanging outside the Oval Office which proclaimed, "America leads the world in testing."
Asked about the new safeguards at the White House - both in public view and away from the television cameras - the President downplayed the seriousness of the threat to himself.
"Everybody coming into the President's office gets tested," Mr. Trump told reporters. "And I felt no vulnerability what so ever."
Earlier on a conference call with reporters, a senior administration confirmed that they were taking 'extra precautions here at the White House.'
"I'm not close to anybody," the President noted from his podium, which was behind a row of plants, setting him aside from the second podium in the Rose Garden.
"I'm very far away from everyone," Mr. Trump added, noting the number of White House aides - who last week did not wear any masks - were now wearing one.
"Just about everybody I've seen today has worn a mask," the President noted.
Pressed on when regular working Americans would see access to tests and contact tracing at the White House, the President instead lashed out at the reporter who asked the question.
The President used his Rose Garden appearance on Monday to announce the White House was sending $11 billion in funding to the states to help with testing.
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