Early Friday morning, it was revealed that President Donald Trump, as well as First Lady Melania Trump, had tested positive for Covid-19. The announcement came only hours after it was confirmed that one of Trump’s longest-serving aides, with whom he had recently travelled in close quarters, had tested positive as well.
Trump, who has consistently played down the seriousness of coronavirus, said on Thursday that “the end of a pandemic is in sight.” Now, however, he and the first lady are being moved into quarantine in the White House for an unspecified time period. This quarantine means that Trump will have to withdraw temporarily from the Presidential campaign trail almost 30 days before the election.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The positive test was confirmed by White House physician Sean Conley in a memo released by the White House, noting that both were “well at this time” and that he and his team would “maintain a vigilant watch.” Ronny Jackson, a former White House doctor, told Fox News that Trump was asymptomatic to the virus.
“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” said Conley.
Many are pointing to two specific possible sources for the Trumps’ transmission: the lack of mask-wearing by the President over the course of the entire pandemic, and his recent large-scale campaign events — more than a dozen in September alone — that the President has regularly dismissed concerns about.
With this announcement, Trump becomes the latest world leader to test positive, joining others like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Both Johnson and Bolsonaro eventually recovered from coronavirus.
In a released, updated public schedule for the President, upcoming events had been cancelled. The only event still on for Friday is a mid-day phone call centered on Covid-19 and the vulnerable senior population.