President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump announced in a tweet, with a little over a month to go until Election Day.
- Trump announced the test results on Twitter just hours after advisor Hope Hicks, who traveled with the president this week, also tested positive.
- White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement the president and First Lady are “both well at this time, and they plan to remain home within the White House during their convalescence.”
- Conley said he expects Trump, who is 74, to continue his duties as president “without disruption while recovering.”
- Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday told reporters the president was experiencing “mild” symptoms, adding, “We have a president that is not only on the job, will remain on the job and I’m optimistic that he’ll have a very quick and speedy recovery.”
- Trump has been criticized for not grappling with the severity of the virus, and just hours before his diagnosis, Trump said, “I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight.”
Throughout the pandemic, Trump has downplayed the coronavirus and America’s 207,000 (and counting) death toll, which is more than any other country in the world. He has also repeatedly compared the virus to the flu, despite knowing as far back as February that the coronavirus was more deadly. Trump continues to insist that a vaccine will be widely available before the end of the year, contradicting the government’s own scientists. He has resumed in-person fundraisers and held at least three indoor, crowded campaign rallies with little social distancing or mask usage. And during the presidential debate on Tuesday, Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask too often. “When needed, I wear masks. 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 me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” he said.
The White House nixed Trump’s planned schedule for Friday, which now only has one item: A “phone call on Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors.” Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, five days after she last interacted with Trump, the New York Times reported.
Trump isn’t the only world leader to contract Covid-19. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have all tested positive and recovered.