Washington, October 2
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania have tested positive for the coronavirus, the President tweeted on Friday, a development that is likely to bring to standstill his hectic election campaign.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” 74-year-old Trump tweeted.
In a statement, Trump’s physician Dr Sean Conley said he received confirmation of the positive tests on Thursday evening.
“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 said.
“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,” Conley 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,” the physician added.
Trump’s positive report comes just hours after his senior aide Hope Hicks was tested COVID-19 positive.
“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for COVID-19. Terrible! The first lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!” Trump earlier said in a tweet.
Hicks, 31, is the closest aid of the president to have tested positive with coronavirus. She had travelled with the president on Air Force One early this week.
Trump, in an interview to Fox News, on Thursday night said he and the first lady spent a lot of time with her.
In the middle of the election campaign, Trump has been travelling a lot, in particular in the battleground states. The development is likely to bring to standstill his hectic campaign for the November 3 presidential election.
In a statement, Judd Deere, the Deputy White House Press Secretary, said that the President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.
“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is travelling,” Deere said earlier.
Several White House staffers have tested positive with COVID-19 in recent months, including the National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary.
The deadly virus has so far killed more than 200,000 people and infected over 7 million others in the US. PTI