- President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday morning that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19.
- The White House physician confirmed the diagnosis, saying they are “both well at this time.”
- He did not say if they had symptoms or how long they have been infected.
- The president was tested for the novel coronavirus after his top aide and adviser Hope Hicks tested positive earlier this week.
- Both Trump and Hicks have seen senior administration officials and attended events over the past week.
- Learn more about the race for a coronavirus vaccine in our live event on October 5. Sign up here.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, he announced early on Friday.
Trump tweeted on Friday morning “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
White House physician Sean Conley issued a statement confirming the diagnosis, saying the president and the first lady were “both well at this time” and planned to remain at the White House during their recovery.
If Trump becomes incapacitated, Vice President Mike Pence would be next in line to act in his place. But Conley said he expects Trump to remain able to serve as president during his isolation.
He wrote: “Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”
Conley did not say whether Trump has any symptoms, or how long Trump had been infected.
Trump is at increased risk of a serious infection as he is over 70, male, and clinically obese.
Trump was tested for the novel coronavirus after his close confidante and White House counselor, Hope Hicks, tested positive earlier this week.
The diagnosis came at a time when Trump was down 8 points in an average of national polls. According to Insider’s Walt Hickey, a period of isolation will likely hurt his reelection efforts.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has now killed more than 207,000 Americans and more than one million people around the world.
Joe Biden, the former vice president and Trump’s Democratic rival in the November presidential election, said he and his wife “will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”
Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
Trump and Hicks met with other senior figures
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that he tested negative.
But Trump and Hicks have been close to other figures who have not yet provided updates.
At Tuesday night’s debate, TrumpBiden for being vigilant about wearing a face covering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I put a mask on when I think I need it,” Trump said, drawing a contrast with Biden. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask.”
At the debate, Trump’s entourage removed their face coverings while seated and watching the debate, and declined to wear masks offered them by a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic.
Neither Trump nor Biden wore a mask during the debate, though as a precaution they avoided the traditional pre-debate handshake.
Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, were on Air Force One at the same time as Trump and Hicks.
Hicks also met with figures like White House adviser Stephen Miller, campaign adviser Jason Miller, and advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
And he held meetings, fundraisers, and a rally during the week before he tested positive.
Hours before he tested positive, Trump told a fundraiser at his Bedminister resort that “the end of the pandemic is in sight.”
Trump administration members have previously tested positive: O’Brien recently recovered from COVID-19, as did Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, who is married to Stephen Miller.
Before his test came back, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he spends a lot of time with Hicks.
“She did test positive. She is a hard worker, a lot of masks, she wears masks a lot. She tested positive. I just went out with the test, we will see,” he said.
“We spend a lot of time, the first lady just went and got a test also. Whether we quarantine, whether we have, we don’t know.”
The world reacts
Vice President Mike Pence said a statement early on Friday morning: “Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump.
“We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery.”
And Democrats said they wished Trump a fast recovery, with some saying they hope the diagnosis will spur him on to change his attitude towards the virus.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who almost died from the coronavirus earlier this year, said he wishes Trump and Melania “a speedy recovery.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Trump a speedy recovery, and said Trump’s “innate vitality” and “good spirits” will help him.
- Read more:
- Trump held an indoor fundraiser with supporters even after White House officials knew Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19
- Democrats wish Trump a swift recovery from COVID-19, and hope it changes his policies on the virus
- Trump had an extensive list of meetings and events the week prior to testing positive for COVID-19
- The President’s COVID-19 diagnosis wipes out half of the most important resource the Trump re-election effort has: Time
- Experts explain the possible fallout of world leaders catching the coronavirus
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