President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, throwing the presidential campaign into a new uproar.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.
Late Thursday, Bloomberg News had reported that Hope Hicks, a close aide to Trump, had tested positive for the virus. Hicks had traveled to and from Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland on Air Force One with Trump and also traveled to Minnesota with him, Bloomberg said.
Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tweeted that Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative for the virus on Friday morning.
A memo from Dr. Sean P. Conley, the president’s physician, said he received information on Thursday night that the president, who at 74 would be at high risk for complications from the virus, and Melania had tested positive for COVID-19.
“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,” Conley wrote.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Trump’s updated schedule for Friday includes hosting a 12:15 p.m. phone call on COVID-19 support for vulnerable seniors.
The president’s positive test result comes days after he and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, 77, shared the debate stage Tuesday evening. The two men did not shake hands and stayed on opposite sides of the stage, which was in a large atrium on Case Western Reserve University’s campus.
Official safety precautions for that event, co-hosted by the Cleveland Clinic, largely focused on the audience, which was much smaller than usual for a presidential debate. The roughly 80 audience seats were spaced out from each other, and those seated had to test negative for coronavirus. Those in the audience could be seen wearing masks, with the exception of Trump’s family members and top aides.
There was no comment yet early Friday from the Biden campaign on Trump’s diagnosis.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted his prayers for the first family.
Fran and I join our fellow Ohioans in praying for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump after they announced early today that they have both tested positive for COVID-19.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) October 2, 2020