Trump says tests are ‘overrated,’ but will get tested daily

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as Vice President Mike Pence looks on during a meeting with Texas Governor Greg Abbott about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Thursday that testing for the coronavirus is “somewhat overrated” shortly after announcing that he will be tested for the disease every single day.

Daily tests will also be conducted for “everyone that comes into contact with the president,” Vice President Mike Pence added to reporters at the White House.

The new daily testing policy for the president and those in his circle comes hours after the White House acknowledged that a personal valet for Trump tested positive for Covid-19.

Trump and Pence have since been re-tested since coming into contact with the valet, who among things serves Trump’s meals.

Both Trump and Pence tested negative for the coronavirus, the White House said.

“I’ve had very little personal contact with this gentleman,” Trump said in the Oval Office alongside Pence. “I know who he is, good person, but I’ve had very little contact.” 

Trump touted the quality and quantity of U.S. tests, which health experts say is a crucial component of the U.S. response to the pandemic.

“But I have always said testing is somewhat overrated,” Trump added. “Because what happens after somebody takes a test, what’s going on there?”

Trump had critiqued the idea of testing as an effective tool against the virus earlier in his remarks. “We were testing once a week, now we’re going to go testing once a day, but even when you test once a day, someone could, something happens where they catch something,” Trump said.

“What happens in between when you got tested, and just a couple of days later?”

Pence said in the Oval Office that, “as the president indicated, the White House now has initiated an effort that the president and I not only will be tested every day, but I think everyone that comes into contact with the president will be tested every day.”

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed reporting.

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