- President Donald Trump tweets he and first lady Melania Trump test positive for Covid-19
- “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted after midnight early Friday morning.
CNB News – President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House physician announced late Thursday.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” presidential physician Sean Conley said in a memo released by the White House.
“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” Conley added.
The announcement comes after the news broke late Thursday that White House adviser and top aide to the president Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19. Both Hicks and the president had been together on Air Force One in Cleveland for the presidential debate as well as a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
News of her COVID-19 status raised questions about whether others would test positive for the virus and both the president and first lady announced shortly afterward that they would quarantine while they awaited their test results.
Following the announcement from the White House doctor, Trump took to twitter to confirm that he and his wife had tested positive.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted after midnight early Friday morning.
The first lady tweeted early Friday confirming the test results, sharing that “As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19.”
“We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” Melania Trump tweeted.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany took to Twitter to offer support to the first couple early Friday morning saying that “The strength of the entire country is with President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS.”
Trump, the first lady and Hicks’s positive diagnoses add to the number of White House and Trump administration staff who have contracted the disease since the start of the pandemic.
Other officials have tested positive in past months, including Vice President Pence’s communications director Katie Miller and national security adviser Robert O’Brien. In addition, a valet for the president had also tested positive for COVID-19.
The White House also issued a schedule for the president for Friday after he confirmed the test results. The president is still scheduled to hold a call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.”
Trump will not travel to Sanford, Fla., to hold a scheduled campaign rally on Friday. The White House did not immediately issue any additional information on the president or the first lady’s long-term schedules following the results of their coronavirus tests.
Aides to the president told The Washington Post that his political events will be canceled for the foreseeable future.
The positive test results inject fresh uncertainty in the presidential race, which had already been rocked in recent weeks by a fight over the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has broadly sought to make the November election a referendum on Trump’s handling of the virus, bringing up the United States’s status as the country with the highest number of cases and early testing lags to criticize Trump.
Trump and Biden faced off in their first presidential debate Tuesday night, locking horns over the administration’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, among other topics.
Biden noted during the debate that Trump privately told journalist Bob Woodward in February that the coronavirus was “more deadly” than the flu, despite saying otherwise in public at the time. Trump’s remarks to Woodward were published last month.
The Democratic rival used the debate to cite Trump’s response to the high COVID-19 death toll last month when he said “they are dying. That’s true. And you – it is what it is.”
“It is what it is because you are who you are,” Biden said to Trump on Tuesday. “The president has no plan. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was.”
At another moment, Biden turned to look into the camera, saying, “How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the table because someone died of COVID-19?”
Trump pushed back on the criticism, arguing the death toll would have been higher if Biden were president. He also touted his decision in January to shut down most travel into the U.S. from China, something he has frequently highlighted.
The two candidates did not shake hands or interact closely onstage at the debate, though were onstage together for more than 90 minutes.
For months, Trump declined to wear a face covering in public, despite the urging of his top public health officials who sought to tamp down on a spreading number of cases in a several southern states at the time.
Trump wore a mask for the first time in July during a visit to Walter Reed hospital in Maryland to visit wounded service members and health staff who had cared for COVID-19 patients. Since then, Trump has worn a mask on several occasions and showcased it to cameras at times, something he did during Tuesday’s debate as well.
With his positive test, Trump joins a number of other world leaders who have contracted the disease, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro