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President Donald Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, which he shared on Twitter early Friday. The announcement comes hours after it became known that Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest advisors, tested positive for the virus.
“Tonight @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will make it through TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.
Trump, 74 years old and clinically obese, falls in a high-risk group for the disease that has killed over 200,000 Americans and more than a million people worldwide to date. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 65 to 74 are five times more likely to be hospitalized and 90 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to young adults between 18 and 18 Age 29. Men are also more likely to die from coronavirus or have serious illnesses than women.
The President’s Doctor, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a publicly released memo: “The President and First Lady are fine now and plan to stay home at the White House during their recovery.”
“The White House medical team and I will be vigilant, and I appreciate the support of some of the greatest medical professionals and institutions in our country,” Conley wrote.
Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon and returned to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey. It is unclear how the president’s diagnosis will affect the remaining 32 days of the 2020 presidential campaign, including future debates with former Vice President Joe Biden. The next debate is currently on October 15 in Miami.
The president’s last rally was in Minnesota on Wednesday evening. A scheduled rally in Orlando, Florida on Friday has been canceled.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, took a negative coronavirus test Friday morning, according to Pence’s press secretary.
The president’s critics have accused him of playing down the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic for months. In September, journalist Bob Woodward shared an interview in February that showed the president understood that the new coronavirus can be airborne and, despite public positions to the contrary, is more deadly than seasonal flu.
“You just breathe the air and so it’s over,” Trump said on the call. “And that’s very tricky. It’s very tricky. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flow.”
“This is deadly stuff,” he said.
At the time, Trump told Americans that the outbreak would soon go away on its own and that the United States faced little threat.
This is an evolving situation. This story will continue to be updated.
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