US President Donald Trump said on Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be quarantined inside the White House while he recovered, canceling upcoming appearances on the election track before a hotly contested election.
President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, upsetting the already chaotic US election, but was described by his doctor on Friday as feeling “fine” and able to carry out his duties in quarantine.
Trump first announced on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus.
“We’re going to get through this TOGETHER!” he wrote.
But the extraordinary setback for Trump had immediate political consequences just 32 days before election day.
His challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, leads well in the polls and makes criticism of Republicans’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic a key part of his campaign.
Trump, in response, bet on an ever more aggressive schedule of campaign rallies across the country – bringing together thousands of people, often without masks.
Early Friday, the White House later today called off its planned campaign rally in the crucial state of Florida.
It also seemed certain that Trump would have to cancel a planned trip this weekend to Wisconsin, another battleground. He was also due to travel frequently next week, including longer distances to the western states.
A second televised debate with Biden is scheduled for October 15.
Trump’s official doctor, Sean Conley, said in a statement that the president and his wife “are both doing well right now and they plan to stay at home in the White House while they recover.”
Conley said: “I expect the President to continue in office without interruption while he recovers.”
- A loved one has a virus – The news shock came just after one of Trump’s closest advisers, Hope Hicks, was reported to have caught the virus on Thursday. Hicks traveled with Trump to Cleveland for his first debate with Biden on Tuesday. She was with him again for a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. As Hicks shared Trump’s Air Force One plane and the even tighter confines of the Marine One helicopter, speculation immediately arose that Trump and possibly many other members of his close entourage had been exposed. Despite Hicks’ diagnosis, Trump took another trip to Air Force One on Thursday to meet with donors in New Jersey. It wasn’t until late Thursday that Trump confirmed media reports on Hicks by giving an interview to Fox News. He announced he had been tested but did not say if he had received the results. “You know I spend a lot of time with Hope, just like the first lady,” Trump said.
- Pink view – Trump says the United States has put behind the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and that he rarely wears a mask, noting that he undergoes frequent testing. However, its own health experts have often given less optimistic assessments of the state of the pandemic in the world’s richest country. And Trump has come under heavy criticism for large gatherings where few supporters wear masks. He himself has given mixed signals to the public about the need to wear masks. In contrast, Biden has run a low-key campaign with social distancing in most events, no large gatherings, and ostentatious use of his mask wherever he goes. White House spokesman Judd Deere said earlier that “the president takes the health and safety of himself and all who work for him and the American people very seriously.” Deere said the White House is careful to follow procedures “to minimize exposure to Covid-19, both at complexes and when the president is away.”