President Donald Trump and first lady Melania have tested positive for COVID-19, the president announced Thursday night.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” he tweeted.
President Trump’s personal physician, Sean P. Conley, released the following statement through White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany:
“I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. The president and first lady are both well at this time. They plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalesce. 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.”
Hours later, the White House announced that Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, had tested negative early on Friday. “Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery,” Pence Press Secretary Devin O’Malley tweeted. Pence was last in close contact with Trump on Tuesday.
The Trumps were tested after it was learned that one of his senior advisers, Hope Hicks, was positive for the coronavirus. “The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!” Trump tweeted earlier Thursday night.
The president’s public schedule for Friday, before he learned the results of the test, was to include a private fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel and a campaign rally in Florida, which will be canceled.
Tuesday, during the first of three presidential debates, the president once again downplayed the need for masks. “I think that masks are OK. You have to understand, if you look — I mean, I have a mask right here,” he said, reaching into his pocket. “I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it. Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to, but — I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks.”
Pointing to former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump added sarcastically, “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.”
Although audience members at the debate were required to wear masks, several did not, including members of the president’s family.
Hope Hicks is known for being one of the president’s closest allies and is frequently with him and his family when they travel. She flew with him and Melania aboard Air Force One to Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday for the first presidential debate. On Wednesday, she boarded Marine One with a few of the president’s other aides — Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller, Dan Scavino and Nicholas Luna, none of whom were wearing masks — while Trump was heading to rally in Minnesota. Hicks was experiencing symptoms of the disease during the return trip to D.C. aboard the presidential plane that evening, according to Bloomberg.
Multiple members of the White House staff and Secret Service have tested positive for the coronavirus, including Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant, the president’s personal valet, Mike Pence’s press secretary and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.