Even as he declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, President Donald Trump couldn't help but shake hands.
“I want to encourage everyone to follow the guidelines we have issued by CDC and these common sense measures,” Trump told reporters at a Rose Garden press conference with top health officials and healthcare, retail and pharmacy CEOs. “A lot of it is common sense.”
The CDC’s website says to “avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places — elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people.” But as Trump introduced CEOs and members of his coronavirus taskforce, he couldn’t resist extending his hand.
First, he grabbed the mic and adjusted it for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
He later reached out to Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, who looked down at the president’s hand before grabbing it to shake.
Trump shook hands with three others before Bruce Greenstein, executive vice president of the LHC Group, put a stop to the hand shaking. Greenstein instead offered an elbow bump to the president.
“I like that,” Trump said, after elbow-bumping. “That’s good.”
Trump, who indicated Friday that he had not been tested but "most likely" would be, has been exposed to people with the illness. While Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has disputed a media report that he initially tested positive for the virus less than a week after meeting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, his press secretary, who took photos with Trump, tested positive for coronavirus this week.
Aside from his meeting with Bolsonaro in Florida, Trump has also been exposed to multiple Republican lawmakers who have self-quarantined after their own exposure to someone who tested positive for coronavirus at last month's Conservative Political Action Conference.
Trump said he had not experienced any symptoms of the disease, but was consulting with his doctors on whether, and when, to get tested.
"I think I will do it anyway," the president said, though he did not commit to sharing the results of a possible test. "We are working out a schedule."