Trump scrapped CDC visit over suspected case of coronavirus that came back negative

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he scrapped a proposed visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta on Friday over a suspected case of coronavirus that turned out to be negative. 

Trump told reporters he made the call after the CDC informed him Thursday afternoon that someone may have been infected with coronavirus, but added he still may visit the government agency behind the U.S. response to the global outbreak. 

“I would prefer going…now that the test came out negative,” he told reporters at the White House. “They’re trying to work it out that I do go.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is still expected to tour the CDC.

The president revealed the reason behind the trip’s cancellation at a signing ceremony for the $8.3-billion supplemental spending package to combat the rapid spread of coronavirus approved by Congress earlier this week.

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“We’ve signed the $8.3 billion. I asked for two and half and I got $8.3 and i’ll take it,” he told reporters. 

The package, which passed the Senate on Thursday, will replace the initial White House request of $2.5 billion, an amount roundly criticized by lawmakers as too little to combat the virus that continues to spread globally and has so far killed at least 12 people in the U.S. 

Earlier on Friday the White House said the president’s visit had been canceled because he didn’t want to interfere with the center’s battle against the rapid spread of coronavirus. 

“The President is no longer traveling to Atlanta today. The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning and the President does not want to interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency,” the White House said in a statement. 

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The U.S. confirmed 233 cases of COVID-19, with new cases reported in Colorado, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey on Thursday. At least 12 Americans and more than 3,400 people globally have died from the virus. The worldwide total of coronavirus cases reached more than 100,000 on Friday morning.

Trump’s Friday schedule includes a stop in Tennessee to inspect storm damage after tornadoes wreaked havoc and left 24 people dead this week. He will then head to South Florida for a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

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