Peter Dutton's positive coronavirus test led to Ivanka Trump and William Barr avoiding public duties on Friday.
Peter Dutton's positive coronavirus test led to Ivanka Trump and William Barr avoiding public duties on Friday.

Ivanka, Barr stay home after Dutton scare

US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump avoided the White House and worked from home "out of an abundance of caution" after Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton revealed he tested positive for the coronavirus.

US Attorney General William Barr also worked from home on Friday.

Mr Dutton was in Washington DC last week and met with US President Donald Trump's daughter and Mr Barr, raising fears they were exposed to the virus that has spread across the globe.

The White House and Justice Department downplayed the likelihood Ms Trump and Mr Barr contracted the virus.

"Exposures from the case were assessed and the White House Medical Unit confirmed, in accordance with CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance, that Ivanka is exhibiting no symptoms and does not need to self-quarantine," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

"She worked from home today out of an abundance of caution until guidance was given."

Mr Barr's spokesman also said the Attorney General was not showing coronavirus symptoms.

"He is staying home today and has consulted with CDC," Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement.

"CDC is not recommending he be tested at this point."

Mr Trump, who declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency on Friday to free up more money and resources to battle the virus, may also have been exposed to the virus.

A Brazilian official tested positive just days after posing for a photo with the Mr Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Mr Trump also downplayed the likelihood of exposure on Friday and said he was not showing symptoms.

After being pressed by reporters the president conceded he will "most likely" get a test.

Mr Dutton woke up on Friday morning with a temperature and sore throat.

He admitted himself for a test which came back positive and he has remained in hospital in Queensland.

"I feel fine and will provide an update in due course," Mr Dutton said in a statement.


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