US President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus after a senior advisor tested positive on Thursday.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump have been infected with COVID-19. The announcement came in the early morning of Friday. The president and first lady had been tested after senior house advisor Hope Hicks had tested positive the day before.
Hicks had traveled to and from the controversial presidential debate on Tuesday with Trump and his wife on the Air Force One. Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he and Melania Trump were awaiting their COVID-19 test results and Trump followed up the announcement early Friday.
Donald and Melania Trump are set to start a two-week COVID-19 quarantine. Trump emphasized that the two would do so together, tweeting, “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Trump’s announcement saw a flurry of online responses, from well wishes to political opponents bemused by the president’s fate. Trump is in the high risk category for COVID-19 patients, two contributing factors being his age and body weight.
White House doctor Sean Conley released a statement about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. He stated that Trump and his wife are currently doing well. The doctor added, “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.”
Trump’s diagnosis will mean he will not be able to attend the large rallies he had planned in Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin, three key battleground states in the upcoming election. Meanwhile, the remarkable news is likely to become the first “October surprise” of the 2020 election cycle, but likely not the last.
Trump’s office will be bound by COVID-19 guidelines of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to trace anyone the president has been in contact with over the last few days. Whether that means contacting his challenger Joe Biden remains unclear.
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.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
Should the US president become incapacitated by the COVID-19 virus, his vice president, Mike Pence, would be asked to lead the country ahead of the contentious presidential election on November 3. However, Vice President Pence is regularly in close contact with the president and is likely to now also undergo testing for COVID-19.
If both Trump and Pence are unable to lead the country because of their COVID-19 infections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would traditionally take over leadership of the country.
With 32 days to go until election day, and months until the January swearing-in ceremony, the news of Trump’s COVID-19 infection is another monumental twist in an already unpredictable election cycle.