President Trump announced early Friday morning that he and First Lady, Melania, tested positive for COVID.
The announcement followed months of reports citing the president's refusal to wear a mask or heed other public health guidelines issued by the CDC and a few days after he shared an indoor debate stage with his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. On Wednesday, he attended a campaign rally in an airport hangar in Duluth, Minn.
Hope Hicks, President Trump’s senior aide, who had traveled with him on Air Force One for the debate on Tuesday and the Wednesday rally, started feeling sick at the rally and tested positive Thursday.
It’s unclear how many of Trump’s inner circle may have been exposed to Hicks, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has regular contact with the president, tested negative Friday morning. Mnuchin had spent Wednesday on Capitol Hill, in meetings with both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, spent time with Trump on Saturday. She and Trump stood side-by-side, less than six feet apart and maskless when he introduced her as his nominee.
The president's detractors say Trump has "downplayed" the virus since March and failed to mitigate its spread.
Trump published a tweet confirming his status seven hours ago.
The president tested negative for Coronavirus on Monday. Between Monday and today, Trump also attended campaign planning sessions and fundraisers, sharing spaces with his closest staff and supporters. At Tuesday night’s debate, Trump did not wear a mask during the 90 minutes he and Biden shared the stage. Neither did Biden or the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. Only some of the few dozen audience members, which included Trump’s children and Biden’s wife, Jill, wore masks. They sat in chairs six feet apart in the White House’s West Wing. Trump had expressed disappointment that the audience was limited to such small numbers.
Vice President Michael Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for coronavirus following the president's announcement.
Biden and Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris await testing. Biden wished Trump a "swift recovery" on Twitter following reports of the president's diagnosis.
The coronavirus poses the highest risk of medical complications for Trump, a 74-year-old, obsese male.
As of Oct. 1, upwards of 7.3 million Americans have been infected with the Coronavirus, according to public health records. Of those infected, 207,699 Americans have died. The CDC reports that eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths were reported in adults aged 65 and older.
Trump canceled a campaign rally in Wisconsin hours before he tested positive. After sharing his diagnosis, Trump canceled a Central Florida fundraiser and rally scheduled for today.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized with moderate coronavirus symptoms at the height of the pandemic in March. Other world leaders who tested positive include Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the presidents of Honduras, Bolivia and Guatemala.
This is a developing story.
Elizabeth Napolitano is the senior news editor and can be reached at email@example.com.
Elizabeth "Liz" Napolitano is the senior news editor for The Spectrum. She's an optimistic pessimist who found her love for journalism in Ecuador. She likes late night walks and reading Twitter threads in their entirety.