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Washington — Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, is being tested for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 after going to the hospital in Michigan with a fever and flu-like symptoms, the RNC said Saturday.

McDaniel, former head of the Michigan GOP, was with President Donald Trump at least three times in the last week, according to an RNC official.

She was with Trump for an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort a week ago on March 6, and then with Vice President Mike Pence the next day for a lunch event at Mar-a-Lago before returning to Michigan. 

On Monday, she attended an event with Trump in Orlando and flew back to Washington with Trump on Air Force One. She then attended the Senate Republicans’ policy lunch — which Trump also attended — at the U.S. Capitol before returning to Michigan, the official said.

Trump said at a press conference Friday that he hadn’t been tested for the virus.

That changed by Saturday afternoon when he told reporters at the White House that he was being tested after having contact with two individuals who have tested positive for the virus. 

Trump said his temperature was normal but he took the test Friday night "only because the press is going crazy." 

Later Saturday, the White House announced Trump's test was negative. 

McDaniel went to her local hospital Friday night and tested negative for the flu and strep, so her doctor recommended testing for the virus, RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement Saturday.

She and her family are quarantining themselves in their home in Northville at the advice of physicians.

The RNC is contacting people that McDaniel remembers coming into contact with in recent days “out of an abundance of caution,” Ahrens said. The RNC will provide an update when test results are in.

Michigan confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and had reported 33 cases across the state as of Saturday night. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has closed K-12 schools for three weeks and temporarily banned gatherings of 250 people in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.

mburke@detroitnews.com

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