WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, he said Friday. The positive test comes a month until the election and after the president has spent the year largely downplaying the threat of the virus.
Trump’s positive test comes hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week. Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and looked to be in good health. Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 205,000 people nationwide.
“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.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
In a memorandum, the president’s physician said that the president and first lady “are both well at this time” and “plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” he added.
Trump had announced earlier in an interview with Fox News that he and the first lady were awaiting their results.
About forty minutes laters, First Lady Melania tweeted, “We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
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 (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, Trump said he was awaiting results of a COVID-19 test. “Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know,” he said, adding that first lady Melania Trump was also awaiting results.
Hicks traveled with the president multiple times this week, including aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, and on Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate in Cleveland.
Senior staff have been tested for COVID-19 daily since two people who work at the White House complex tested positive in early May, prompting the White House to step up precautions. Everyone who comes into contact with the president also receives a quick-result test.
Soon after President Trump’s announcement on social media, the White House released a copy of Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley.
“This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 visus,” the letter states.
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.
The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of out country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruptions with recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.
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Christina Botteri contributed to this report. Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin are reporters with The Associated Press AP writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
About the Headline Photo: President Donald Trump stands on stage with first lady Melania Trump after the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)