On Thursday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus, leading them to cancel events as they enter the final weeks of the presidential campaign. “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
According to the president’s doctor, Sean P. Conley, Trump and the first lady “are both well at this time” and will remain quarantined at the White House. Melania Trump also tweeted that “We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises anyone who tests positive for coronavirus to self-isolate for 10 days. Conley said his team would be watching the couple’s evolution and noted that Trump would continue to serve as president while quarantining.
Before disclosing the couple’s status, Trump confirmed that senior aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus and that they were awaiting test results. In an interview on Fox News, Trump told host Sean Hannity, “Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know.”
Hicks had been with the president all week, including twice aboard Air Force One. After Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump attended a rally in Minnesota. Hicks attended both events. He’s set to debate Biden again on October 15, which would fall after the 10-day isolation window recommended by the CDC.
During Tuesday’s debate, Trump was asked about masks. “I think masks are okay … I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it,” Trump said. “I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Joe Biden criticized Trump for holding large rallies, saying he was endangering the health of his supporters. “He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraged them not to. He’s a fool on this,” he said
Last Saturday, Trump held a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., which was attended by thousands of supporters, most of whom were not wearing masks or social distancing. A few hours before testing positive, Trump said during the 75th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner that “the end of the pandemic is in sight.”
Experts have said that given Trump’s age and weight, he could be at higher risk of developing serious complications from the virus. It is unclear at this time if he and the first lady are asymptomatic.
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