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Why Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's not getting tested for coronavirus

Posted March 15, 2020 11:51 a.m. EDT

— Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Sunday that he is not currently planning to get tested for coronavirus because he's not symptomatic and because he doesn't think every American should take a test.

"I'm not taking the test for a simple reason: I have no symptoms. I'm practicing pretty good social distancing," Fauci told CNN's Brianna Keilar on "State of the Union" after being asked if he was planning to be tested for the disease.

"Not everybody in the United States should take a test," Fauci said. "I mean I have no symptoms, there's no reason for me to take a test. If I'm in a situation where I'm at a higher risk, I will take a test."

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As the pandemic continues to take hold in the US, officials are working to increase the availability of coronavirus tests, while also working to make clear in what cases people should seek them. Officials are currently urging individuals who are symptomatic to take tests and advising against tests being administered for people who do not show signs that they could be infected with the disease. While there has been a recent increase in laboratories that can develop and perform diagnostic testing, reports have emerged of people having difficulty getting tested.

Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence announced that any American, with a doctor's order, can be tested for coronavirus.

On Saturday, the White House announced that President Donald Trump had tested negative for coronavirus after taking a test a day earlier. The President had been pressed last week on whether he would take a test after coming into recent contact with two individuals who have tested positive for the virus.

An official said Sunday that Pence consulted with the White House physician on whether he should be tested for coronavirus and the doctor recommended that he didn't need to be tested at this time based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines. Pence told reporters a day earlier that he would consult with the physician about whether he needed to be tested given the fact that Trump was.

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Fauci, a key member of the Trump administration's coronavirus taskforce, has said Saturday that the US has "not reached our peak," in terms of novel coronavirus cases, adding that there will be more cases and more deaths, primarily among vulnerable older individuals.

As of Sunday morning, there were 2,885 cases of coronavirus in the US and the disease had resulted in at least 60 deaths, according to figures from state and local health agencies, governments and the CDC.

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