The White House on Saturday began checking the temperatures of people in close contact with the President or vice president, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a pool report from McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers, someone from the White House physician’s office came to the White House press briefing room and adjacent workspaces and began checking the temperatures of reporters in the building with a no-contact thermometer.
“Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said, per the pool report.
Several individuals who have had contact with Trump in recent days subsequently have tested positive for COVID-19, or have otherwise quarantined themselves as a precaution. Three people who recently visited the President’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where the President himself was present, have since tested positive for COVID-19 as well.
On Friday, the President said he would “most likely” get tested for the viral disease.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to lead a press briefing alongside members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force shortly around noon Saturday.
“We know of at least one individual with a press pass who was turned away, we believe due to temperature level,” NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell said a few minutes after noon from the briefing room. O’Donnell said she’d been told that staff members who’d had direct contact with Trump and Pence had had their temperatures taken, as well.