23:24 GMT03 April 2020
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    Coronavirus Outbreak Turns Into Pandemic (233)
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    The White House has enacted new coronavirus testing protocols to protect President Donald Trump, with staff and media undergoing temperature checks prior to accessing the White House complex amidst the pandemic.

    First Lady Melania Trump has announced the cancellation of the traditional Easter Egg Roll on 13 April in response to the spread of the coronavirus, as temperature checks began on Saturday outside the White House press briefing room.

    “The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now. I deeply regret this cancellation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short-term to ensure a healthy country for the long-term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone,” said the First Lady in a statement.

    Hundreds of children and their families typically attend the Easter Egg Roll, which takes place on the South Lawn of the White House.

    Netizens flooded the internet with sarcastic comments, many pointing to the fact the announcement was more than obvious under the current circumstances.

    ​Some fans couldn’t miss the chance to take a jab at FLOTUS over the White House tennis pavilion. In early March, the First Lady had tweeted pics of herself reviewing blueprints for the tennis pavilion, generating backlash, with some saying the photos were insensitive during the global coronavirus scare.

    ​Other netizens posted sarcastic comments hinting at the outcome of the 2020 presidential elections.

    ​Some applauded the measures announced by Melania Trump.

    ​The announcement by FLOTUS came as the US entered its first week of widespread school closures and restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The White House has called on millions of people to work from home and to home-school their children if possible, while the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised against gatherings larger than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

    At the White House, staff and members of the media had their temperature taken by the White House physician's office prior to entering the complex on Monday morning, as deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement:

    “Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the president and vice president”.

    “Social distancing” procedures recommended by the CDC are also being implemented in the White House, as the briefing room had its seating reorganised accordingly, with the US Capitol and the White House ending public tours of their buildings.

    President Trump earlier tested negative for the coronavirus, taking the test after coming into contact with an aide to the president of Brazil during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago, who had tested positive.

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    Coronavirus Outbreak Turns Into Pandemic (233)

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