U.S. President Donald Trump said he underwent a second coronavirus test on Thursday, using a rapid diagnostic that produced a result in less than 15 minutes, and it determined that he has not been infected.
“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.
At his daily White House news briefing, Trump announced plans for the U.S. military and federal personnel to operate a makeshift hospital set up in the Javits Center convention center in New York to help the city grapple with a flood of patients.
New York has become the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic with more than 47,000 confirmed cases in the city.
Reuters reports that morgues and hospitals in New York City, the centre of the US outbreak, bent under the strain on Thursday, struggling to treat or bury casualties, as New York state’s Governor Andrew Cuomo offered a grim prediction the rest of the country would soon face the same misery.
Staff at one medical centre in Brooklyn were seen disposing of their gowns and caps and other protective wear in a sidewalk trash can after wheeling bodies out of the hospital and loading them into a refrigerated truck.
Cuomo had earlier said the New York would run out of ventilators in six days.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, a member of the coronavirus task force, said the government will send to the New York public hospital system a supply of N-95 protective masks to help medical workers get through the next month.
Trump, who had initially played down the threat from the virus, made use of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to try 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.