Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Jason Lewis shook hands with the president. This was not accurate and has been removed from the story.
President Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, a day after he was in Minnesota for a fundraiser and campaign rally, which raises questions about the potential spread of the virus among those who met with Trump while he was here.
Trump, who began feeling mild symptoms on Friday, announced his positive test Thursday night. This came hours after news that one of his aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive. Hicks traveled with Trump to Minnesota on Wednesday, where he went to the home of Cambria owner Marty Davis in Shorewood – during which few wore masks and some sang karaoke, according to Blois Olson – and flew on Air Force One to a rally in Duluth.
While he was here, Trump apparently spent time with several prominent Minnesota Republicans, including Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn, Pete Stauber; Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka; House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt; and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis, among others, MPR News reports. It's unclear if Hicks met with any Minnesotans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 14 days of quarantine after being exposed to someone who has COVID-19. The CDC says exposure is 15 minutes or more in close proximity to the person with COVID-19, and recommends 14 days based on the time it can take to develop the illness if infected.
Gazelka was on WCCO Radio Friday morning, saying he'll get a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days, per CDC guidelines, calling the pandemic "serious," but adding that he believes he'll be fine.
Others who were known to be with Trump, though, say they plan to get tested but it's unclear if they'll quarantine for the recommended 14 days. In a statement, Daudt said:
“First and foremost my prayers are with the President and First Lady for a speedy recovery. I am not currently experiencing any symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution I am being tested again on Friday for COVID-19 after testing negative on Tuesday ahead of the President’s visit. I will remain in self-quarantine until results are received.”
He tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday ahead of Trump's visit and didn't attend the Shorewood event. He did meet with Trump for fewer than five minutes outside om the tarmac, but did not shake the president's hand, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Minnesota's three Republican congressmen – Stauber, Emmer and Hagedorn – who traveled with President Trump on Air Force One have not explicitly said they'll quarantine, only that they'll get tested again, the Star Tribune reports.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said she wasn't with Trump on Wednesday "due to a busy campaign schedule that took me to other parts of the state."
"We wish our President, First Lady, Hope Hicks and any others impacted a speedy recovery to good health," she added.
BMTN has reached out to the Republican Party of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health for more details.