In a statement released by the Physician to the President, Sean Conley, it was announced on 1 October 2020 that President Trump and the First Lady, Melania Trump had tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus. According to the statement, both are well and plan to remain at home in the White House in order to convalesce.

The statement continued, “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. 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.”

In response, the President tweeted out,

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

The First Lady also commented on the news,

“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.”

Continuing the tone of business-as-usual from the White House, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded, “Your President will continue to put the People first!”

Earlier in the day it was announced that Counselor to the President, Hope Hicks had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The President and First Lady’s illness will have a knock-on effect for the many people that they have come into contact with during the past two weeks. According to CDC Guidelines, “Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.” For the President and First Lady, the guidelines state that they can be around others after three conditions are met: (i) it has been ten days since symptoms first appeared, and (ii) 24 hours have passed with no fever where fever-reducing medications are not being used; and (iii) other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.1 This is likely to affect among others Jared Kushner, Nicholas Luna, Stephen Miller, Mark Meadows, and US Supreme Court judicial nominee, Amy Coney Barrett (pictured), as well as some of Barrett’s guests at the White House.

The second of three presidential debates was expected to take place on 15 October 2020, but may now have to be rescheduled.

Update: 2 October 2020, 13.42 UTC

In a further development, GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel and a family member have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has wished Donald and Melania Trump a speedy recovery:

Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.

Update: 2 October 2020, 13.55 UTC

Multiple sources are reporting that the Vice President and Second Lady, Mike and Karen Pence have tested negative for the disease, as has Amy Barrett, and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Picture: White House. Public domain.

Footnotes

  1. A loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery, and need not delay the end of isolation. ​Also, most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others, and CDC notes that these guidelines do not apply to those with severe COVID-19.

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