Trump ‘set for TV address to prove he’s fine’ after COVID diagnosis as it emerges White House kept close aide Hope Hicks’ positive test SECRET for 24 hours – while Biden prepares for his own test and Pence confirms he is negative.
- The president tweeted to confirm the news shortly before 1am EST Friday, writing: ‘Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately’
- Trump had said he and first lady Melania Trump were tested after president’s aide Hope Hicks tested positive
- The New York Times reported on Friday morning that the president has ‘minor symptoms’
- Hicks, who serves as counselor to Trump, traveled with him to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday
- Joe Biden, Trump’s 77-year-old election opponent, will be tested on Friday morning
- Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative, as has Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin
- Hicks tested positive Thursday, according to an administration official after feeling poorly on the way home
- Trump then continued with his schedule Thursday and traveled to and from his Bedminster, New Jersey
- Her diagnosis was kept secret by the White House for a full 24 hours
- Hicks also had also been aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate in Cleveland
- And she traveled with the president to a rally in Pennsylvania last Saturday where she was seen maskless
- Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from the virus
- A statement from the White House doctor said both the president and first lady are ‘well at this time’
President Donald Trump is considering an address to the nation on Friday after the shocking news he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
White House aides have been discussing ways for the president to be seen in public Friday to reassure Americans he is well and still leading the country. And one of those options is a national address, The New York Times reported on Friday.
The president tweeted the news of his diagnosis shortly before 1am EST Friday, writing: ‘Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!’
Sources told the Times that he was experiencing ‘minor’ symptoms. Trump is 74 years old and is medically obese, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from the virus. Joe Biden, Trump’s 77-year-old opponent who he debated on Tuesday night, is being tested on Friday morning. He tweeted on Friday morning: ‘Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.’
Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative as has Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. It remains unclear whether any other members of the Trump family have been tested, or what the results of those tests are.
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. If Trump becomes seriously ill, there are constitutional procedures that would allow Vice President Mike Pence to assume power temporarily, just weeks before the November 3 election.
But if Trump suffers mild or no symptoms, the president would be able to tout his recovery as evidence that the virus is a less grave threat than many believe.
In a letter to McEnany, White House physician Sean Conley said medics would keep a ‘vigilant watch’ on the president’s health.
Since 1am on Friday, when the diagnoses emerged;
- Trump and Melania went into quarantine at the White House and told the nation they were feeling ‘good’
- Joe Biden prepared for his own COVID test; Mike Pence and Steve Mnuchin tested negative
- The Dow Jones Futures Index sank 1.9 percent and oil prices plummeted, spreading fear among the markets before opening bell
- It emerged that White House aides had kept Hope Hicks’ diagnosis a secret and replaced people to travel with Trump to an event on Thursday because they feared they’d come into contact with her
- Global reaction to the news varied from concern and sympathy among well-wishers like Boris Johnson to cruel taunts from celebrities like Dominic West and conspiracy theories that Trump had made up his diagnosis to get out of the next presidential debate after Tuesday’s car-crash effort in Cleveland
‘The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,’ Dr Conley said.
‘The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions.
‘Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.’
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