USA

Donald and Melania Trump test positive for the coronavirus

Washington D.C. - Just one month before the election, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.

US President Donald Trump holds a mask while speaking at a press conference at the White House in Washington
US President Donald Trump holds a mask while speaking at a press conference at the White House in Washington  © Evan Vucci/AP/dpa

Shortly after midnight on Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted, "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" 

Trump's personal physician, Sean Conley, said Donald and Melania Trump are doing well. "Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering," Conley said in a statement.

Trump is facing Joe Biden in the presidential election on November 3.

The 74-year-old had many appearances planned for the coming days, including large rallies, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of Trump supporters have attended these events during the past months.

Senior advisor Hope Hicks had tested positive

Donald Trump and Melania Trump are standing on the south lawn of the White House at the end of the four-day Republican National Convention.
Donald Trump and Melania Trump are standing on the south lawn of the White House at the end of the four-day Republican National Convention.  © Evan Vucci/AP/dpa

On Thursday, Trump confirmed that close advisor Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus, in an interview with Fox News. 

Hicks had traveled with Trump to Cleveland for the first presidential debate and on Wednesday she accompanied him to an election campaign appearance in Minnesota.

Hicks was photographed next to the presidential helicopter Marine One, at the Andrews Joint Base. She was standing close to Trump's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Neither of them were wearing masks. Hicks also came in contact with other members of the president's staff. It isn't clear whether other people from Trump's entourage have also been infected. 

Melania Trump also tweeted on Friday morning:" "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."

White House spokesperson Judd Deere released a statement on Thursday night: "The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously." He insisted that CDC guidelines are being strictly followed, both on the campaign trail and in the White House. 

Trump rarely seen in public wearing a face mask

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat posed by the virus . In public, he usually doesn't wear a mask and in Tuesday's debate, he mocked Joe Biden for doing so.

The White House has constantly highlighted that both the president and his staff are regularly tested. In June, Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called wearing masks a "personal decision".

In early May, it was announced that Katie Miller, press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, had been infected. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien also tested positive in July.

Over 7.2 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus  since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 207,000 have died.

Cover photo: Evan Vucci/AP/dpa

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