President Donald Trump has tweeted to say he and First Lady Melania have tested positive for coronavirus. ‘We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!’ he wrote.
The president is 74, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from the virus. In his 2019 physical, Mr Trump also met the technical threshold for obesity, which is considered another risk factor.
A statement from the White House doctor said both the president and first lady are ‘well at this time’ but did not say if either have symptoms.
The First Lady also tweeted to say the pair were feeling well.
She wrote: ‘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.’
Mr Trump earlier said he and the first lady, 50, were self-isolating after one of his top aides Hope Hicks tested positive.
Ms Hicks, 31, who serves as a counsellor to the president, reportedly tested positive for the disease on Thursday, the day after she travelled with the president to a rally in Ohio.
She has travelled with the president a number of times during the past week, including on presidential helicopter Marine One, and on Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate. Earlier on Thursday Trump had told Fox News Hicks had tested positive adding: ‘Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know. ‘I just went for a test and we’ll see what happens.’
He later tweeted to confirm he and Melania were in quarantine, writing: ‘Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!’
The positive test means the president will have to scrap Friday’s plans for a fundraiser at his Washington, D.C., hotel and a political rally in Sanford, Florida.
Mr Trump is now expected to be in quarantine for some two weeks while facing treatment for the disease. It comes at a critical time for the president, who will come out of quarantine with just weeks to go until the November 3 election. Coronavirus cases in the US have continued to spiral, killing more than 200,000 Americans and infecting more than seven million nationwide.
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 Mr Trump, the White House and his campaign have consistently downplayed the threat of the virus and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines such as wearing masks in public and practising social distancing. Instead, he has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of supporters.
Several world leaders have been struck down with the disease, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson who spent two nights in intensive care as he battled the virus.