Like millions of Americans, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 just days after a top aide was diagnosed.
The announcement came over night from a White House doctor.
Trump, who is in otherwise good health, said he and his wife would “begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
“We will get through this TOGETHER!” he added in a social media statement. Trump is 74 years old and has one of the most rigorous schedules of any president in the last 40 years. Aides have shared how the president usually doesn’t go to bed until 2-3 a.m. and rises at 6 a.m.
The first lady, 50, also later announced on Twitter, “As too many Americans have done this year [the president] & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19.”
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
“We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” she said.
Sean Conley, physician to the president, said in a memorandum released by the White House that both Trumps are “well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise people who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient should quarantine for 10-14-days because the incubation period for the coronavirus can last up to two weeks.
COVID-19 kills a small percentage of patients, currently just .04 percent of patients die specifically from Covid.
White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19, Trump confirmed earlier Thursday.
Trump, speaking to Fox News’s Sean Hannity in a phone, said that he and the first lady had just gotten tested for COVID-19 because of Hicks’ diagnosis. Trump said he and his wife “spend a lot of time with Hope and others.”
“It’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement, and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them, and you get close and things happen,” he added.
Hicks was wearing a mask when flying with Trump this week.
“She’s a hard worker, a lot of masks,” Trump said. “She wears masks a lot, but she tested positive.”
A White House official told news outlets late Thursday, “Contact tracing has been done and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.”
Contact tracing is the practice of identifying which people had been in contact with a person following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
People in contact with confirmed cases should avoid others, especially people at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, such as the elderly and people with serious underlying medical conditions, according to the CDC.
Contacts are told to get tested for the new disease.
Even people who do not test positive are encouraged to stay home for two weeks and monitor their health.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, and loss of taste and smell.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Vice President Mike Pence was one of Hicks’ contacts. The White House announced later that Pence and his wife have tested negative.
Trump planned to hold a roundtable with supporters in Washington and fly to Florida on Friday for a rally. Both events are now canceled, according to the White House.
An early afternoon phone call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors” is currently the only thing on Trump’s daily schedule.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement early Friday that “The strength of the entire country is with” the president and the first lady.
“America stands united. Our country stands strong. Your President will continue to put the People first!” she said.
Trump joins a growing number of world leaders who have tested positive. Those include Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, and many others.
Members of Congress wished the Trumps well.
“There will be a lot to say about this, but let’s start here: The President and the First Lady have a serious, deadly virus and we should all hope for a full recovery,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a social media statement.
“I hope he recovers fully. He needs to face justice,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.