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“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted just before 1 a.m. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
In a statement, Trump’s physician confirmed the diagnosis but did not clarify what, if any, symptoms Donald Trump and Melania Trump are currently experiencing. Instead, the physician, Sean Conley, said that the pair are “well” and plan to remain in the White House.
“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” Conley added.
At 74 years old, Trump is in an age group that’s particularly at risk for becoming severely ill after contracting COVID-19. Eight out of every 10 deaths linked to COVID-19 have occurred among adults who are 65 years old and above, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A few minutes after the President’s tweet, the first lady followed up with her own.
“As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19,” she tweeted. “We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
The news comes just hours after it was reported that Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s top aides, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Hicks is experiencing symptoms, according to officials cited by the Washington Post. She flew with Trump on Air Force One on Wednesday, and traveled with him to the Tuesday presidential debate in Cleveland.
A request for comment to the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wasn’t immediately returned.
A planned Friday Trump rally in Florida has been canceled, according to ABC News.
So far this year, nearly 7.3 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States and more than 207,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the months since the pandemic drove the United States to a halt in March, Trump has frequently minimized the dangers of coronavirus, claiming it is far less serious than public health experts have portrayed it to be. He has also continued to host campaign rallies, despite warnings against public gatherings, and has often been seen in public without a mask.
Just hours before his diagnosis, Trump spoke remotely at the annual Al Smith Dinner on Thursday, claiming that “the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country.”