US President Donald Trump has once again tested negative for coronavirus after revealing he underwent a test using a new diagnostic that produced a result in less than 15 minutes.
“I think I took it really out of curiosity to see how quickly it worked,” said Trump, who also tested negative last month after coming into contact with a Brazilian official who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
A White House official said Trump took the newly released Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) test that offers results in 15 minutes or less.
At his daily White House news briefing, Trump said Americans should wear protective face masks if they wish.
“If people want to wear them, they can” he said. Scarves work just as well, he said.
Trump took issue with states that are letting some low-risk prisoners out of jail because of the risk of coronavirus contagion and said his administration was looking to see “if I have the right to stop it in some cases.”
“Some people are getting out that are very serious criminals in some states, and I don’t like that. I don’t like it,” he said.
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is expected to announce on Friday a plan to compensate hospitals for treating and testing uninsured coronavirus patients.
“We don’t want any American to worry about the cost of getting tests or the costs of getting treatment,” said Pence.
“The president will be addressing that tomorrow.”
Trump, who had initially played down the threat from the virus, made use of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to order companies to produce hospital ventilators essential in keeping alive patients hit hard by the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. He said he also used the law to get General Motors Co to produce more N-95 masks.
“We have over 100,000 (ventilators) being built right now or soon to be started,” Trump said.