Ted Cruz Is Quarantining Himself 'Out of Caution' After Interacting with D.C. Coronavirus Patient

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced Sunday he is staying home this week after interacting with a person in the Washington, D.C., area who has been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus that has spread through much of the world.

The interaction was at the Conservative Political Action Conference late last month that was also attended by President Donald Trump.

“I’m not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” Cruz said in a statement. “Given that the interaction was 10 days ago, that the average incubation period is five-to-six days, that the interaction was for less than a minute, and that I have no current symptoms, the medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.”

He said he was staying home in self quarantine “out of an abundance of caution” after having a “brief conversation” and shaking hands with the person who tested positive for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Cruz said he would stay quarantined until 14 days after that interaction at CPAC with the coronavirus patient.

Shortly after his announcement, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar made a similar statement saying he would also voluntarily quarantine himself this week to avoid any chance of spreading the respiratory virus that first emerged in December in China.

Gosar said he and some staff had had “sustained contact at CPAC” with the person with coronavirus.

Like Cruz, Gosar said he did not feel ill and was not showing symptoms.

While at CPAC, Trump shook hands with the conference chairman, Matt Schlapp, who also interacted with the person who was infected, according to Washington Post reporter Colby Itkowitz.

“While the timeline is unknown, Schlapp shook Trump’s hand on stage the last day of the conference,” Itkowitz reported.

“Everyone should continue to treat this outbreak seriously and be driven by facts and medical science,” Cruz said in his Sunday statement. “We need to continue to be proactive in mobilizing resources to combat this outbreak — including the $8.3 billion in emergency funding we provided last week — and I encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC and other health professionals in protecting their own health and welfare, as well as the health and welfare of those around them.”

Trump himself has made conflicting statements from his own health officials, often taking a much more optimistic tone and insisting the government has done a “GREAT job,” even as testing in the U.S. lags behind other countries given the lack of ready supplies.

In February, he said his rivals in the Democratic Party were trying to turn the virus into a politicized “hoax” to damage him ahead of November’s election.

His economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has also insisted the virus is “contained.”

The CDC has advised Americans to prepare for some disruption to their lives as widespread measures such as school closures may be taken to avoid large-scale infections.

Worldwide, there are about 112,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus — most of them in China. About 3,900 people have died.

There were 566 confirmed cases in the U.S., as of Monday morning. Twenty-two people have died.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC encourages maintaining basic forms of hygiene including careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

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