Rutgers Medical Experts Available to Discuss President Trump Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Rutgers medical experts are available to discuss the implications of President Trump’s positive test for coronavirus, including treatment protocols, results time for testing and the importance of following guidelines for wearing masks, social distancing and quarantining.

  • “President Trump’s positive test has shown that infectivity of the coronavirus has no boundaries, respects no privilege, race, ethnicity or wealth and thus we all need to be careful because if the president can get it, anyone can,” said Professor Reynold Panettieri, a pulmonologist at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine & Science.
  • “The time frame for getting a positive coronavirus test is not defined by how long it takes to develop symptoms after exposure as many people remain asymptomatic altogether,” said Professor Lewis Nelson, a medical toxicologist and chair of emergency medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “These latter patients can still infect others as most people develop clinical effects within five days and almost all by 10 to 14 days.”
  • “This reinforces the need to take precautions such as maintaining physical distancing when possible, hand-washing, wearing masks and making sure others around you are also masked, most especially those with young children” said David Cennimo, a pediatric infectious disease expert and assistant professor at Rutgers NJMS. “Even daily testing cannot protect you from acquiring the infection. It can only detect an early infection to prevent you from spreading it to others.” 
  • “What is more difficult is the assessment of asymptomatic carriers because they could be positive for the disease at any time, said pathologist Valerie Fitzhugh, an associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Pathology at Rutgers NJMS and Rutgers RWJMS. “Anyone who attended the rally in New Jersey yesterday must get tested. Some of them could test positive as early as today or tomorrow, particularly if they are symptomatic.”
  • “People in New Jersey who may have been potentially exposed (within six feet for more than 10 minutes without proper masking) should get tested, monitor their symptoms daily, including temperature checks for up to 14 days after their exposure, and consult with their health care provider if they develop symptoms or have any other concerns,” said infection control expert Debra Chew, an assistant professor at Rutgers NJMS, medical director for Infection Prevention and Control at University Hospital in Newark and a former epidemic intelligence officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Those exposed must exercise caution and quarantine even if they’re feeling healthy.”



Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an utstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.