President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump announced in a tweet shortly before 1 a.m. on Friday. “We will overcome this TOGETHER! “
Trump’s announcement came hours after he and the first lady began a “quarantine process” as they awaited test results, after a close associate, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus.
The president and his wife join the more than 7.2 million Americans infected with the virus, which has killed nearly 208,000 in the United States, reshaped daily life and plunged the economy into turmoil. With most recovering from COVID-19 and many showing no symptoms, Trump at 74 is in the higher risk category for the disease.
The news comes about a month before Election Day, during a volatile campaign season where the pandemic – which has claimed more than a million lives worldwide in the past seven months, according to Johns Hopkins University – is already one of the main concerns of voters.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to be tested for coronavirus on Friday morning, source close to the plans confirmed.
While Trump’s doctor has said he is “fine”, it is not clear whether the president is experiencing symptoms. Confirmed positive test raises questions about how the president handles day-to-day tasks in the West Wing while continuing a heated campaign against the Democratic challenger Joe biden, which has relentlessly targeted the administration’s response to the pandemic.
President admitted to playing down the virus earlier this year, telling reporter Bob Woodward he didn’t want to cause panic, and telling reporters he believed the president should be a “cheerleader” for the country. He aggressively called on states to ease restrictions on businesses and pushed schools to reopen with classroom learning this fall despite confusion and health concerns among parents and teachers.
Trump, who has organized several public rallies for the re-election campaign in recent weeks, knew of the dangers of the outbreak in February, when he told Woodward that COVID-19 was “more deadly than even your intense flu.” – maybe five times more deadly, he said at the time. But that didn’t stop him from speaking publicly compare the virus to the flu and push the economy to start running again.
“The president and the first lady are both doing well at the moment, and they plan to stay at home in the White House while they recover,” White House doctor Sean P. Conley said in a statement. The New York Times reported.
Conley did not say how long the recovery would take.
“Please be assured that I expect the President to continue in office without interruption during his convalescence, and I will keep you informed of any future developments,” he added.
The first lady, in a statement on Twitter around 1:30 a.m., said she and Trump “were feeling good.”
“As too many Americans have done this year, (the president) and I are in quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19,” she said. “We are feeling great and I have postponed all future engagements. Make sure you stay safe and we will all get through this together.”
According to Associated pressHicks felt mild symptoms on the plane returning home after a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday night. Hicks was quarantined away from others on the plane.
The President on Thursday night said Hicks “worked so hard without even taking a little break.”
“Terrible!” he said, of his positive test, before noting that he and the first lady would be quarantined pending test results.
Trump’s handling of public health and economic crises in his fourth year in office rallied Democrats, who pilloried the administration against what many public health experts called slowness.
Trump says his measures to restrict travel from China in late January, combined with the shutdown of the economy in mid-March, saved millions of lives. The president also praised the mobilization of equipment by his administration, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.
But several experts, and most Americans, according to polls, believe the administration has failed to provide a consistent response and has been slow to act, including testing and implementing social distancing guidelines. which have helped to curb the spread of the virus.
Last month, Trump clashed with governors in several battlefield states over rallies that triggered alleged violations of mask requirements and limits on public gatherings. Following Trump’s first rally after the pandemic began, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June, the city reported a record number of new cases.
The White House doctor said last month that Trump was in good health and fit for duty in the Oval Office.
“The president remains in good health and I have no concerns about his ability to maintain the rigorous schedule that lies ahead,” Conley said in a statement.
Addressing the White House to guests at the annual meeting Alfred E. Smith Foundation Memorial Dinner, Trump said on Thursday that the nation was crying “for all who have lost a loved one, and in their memory we will defeat the virus.”
“Thanks to advances in treatment, we have reduced the death rate by 85% since April alone,” he added. “We are on track to develop and distribute a vaccine before the end of the year, and possibly significantly before. And I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the best years in our country’s history. “