Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is in self-quarantine at her home in Michigan after visiting a local hospital yesterday while experiencing a fever and other “flu-like” symptoms and testing negative for the standard flu and a strep infection.
Based on her physical indicators and the lack of other possible explanations, her physician determined that she should be tested for coronavirus since she had potentially been exposed to the disease at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where a known carrier of the virus interacted with many attendees.
McDaniel is currently waiting for the results of the tests to see if she tests positive for COVID-19.
The RNC chairwoman and niece of Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) met with Donald Trump on Monday in Orlando, her spokesperson told CNN. Since both Trump and Vice President Pence had just been in contact with a Brazilian official at a Mar-a-Lago meeting, it is unclear if that meeting was a potential exposure point for the transmission of the virus in either direction.
The Republican National Committee is now in the process of contacting everyone that had contact with McDaniel in recent days to inform them of the potential exposure should her test come back positive for the coronavirus.
RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens posted a tweet informing the public of the new development in McDaniels’ medical condition.
Last night, @GOPChairwoman's doctor determined a test for COVID-19 was necessary given her symptoms.
We will provide an update when the test results are available. pic.twitter.com/oLla7pLaDH
— Michael Ahrens (@michaelahrens) March 14, 2020
Earlier today, President Trump announced at a White House press briefing that he too had been tested for the virus last night.
“I also took the test last night,” Trump said during the briefing. “And I decided I should, based on the press conference yesterday. People were asking, ‘Did I take the test?'”
Trump said the test results would be back in a day or two, although some medical professionals questioned why the test, which only takes a few hours to complete, wouldn’t be expedited in the case of the president.
Vice President Pence who is nominally spearheading the administration’s response to the virus has been similarly exposed to the same infected people that Trump has at both Mar-a-Lago and at CPAC, but has yet to undergo testing, according to media reports.
Original reporting by Jeff Zeleny at CNN.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.