President Trump announced early October 2 that he and First Lady Melania Trump had both received positive COVID-19 tests.
“Tonight @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will start the quarantine and recovery process immediately, “wrote Trump on Twitter around 1 am.” We will get through TOGETHER! The news came shortly after it became known that Hope Hicks, a senior advisor who was often in close contact with President Trump, also tested positive for the coronavirus. A few hours later, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence announced that they had tested negative CNBC reports.
The President has not said anything about what symptoms, if any. Anonymous sources report that he has mild cold symptoms New York Times. However, given his age, 74-year-old Trump is at higher risk of severe coronavirus symptoms and complications.
The most common symptoms of COVID-1
Given that Trump took part in the presidential debate with his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, just a few days ago, the president’s positive COVID-19 test opens up the possibility that he has exposed many other people to the virus as well . This includes prominent government officials, his family (who generally did not wear masks during the debate), as well as anyone who has spent time near him – including those in the service industry who may not have affordable access to quality health care.
Just hours before testing positive, Trump also traveled to New Jersey for a fundraiser. Governor Phil Murphy is now urging anyone who attended the event to quarantine themselves and get tested for COVID-19, he said on Twitter.
Contact tracing a coronavirus cluster in the White House can be especially difficult. We don’t know exactly what happened in the days leading up to Hicks’ positive test, but COVID-19 has a notoriously long incubation period (i.e., the length of time between infection and the possible spread of the virus and developing noticeable symptoms). The incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to 14 days, although symptoms appear between four and five days after exposure, according to the CDC. It is also possible to have an infection, never develop symptoms, and spread the virus to others. Therefore, anyone who has spent a lot of time in close contact with Hicks or the Trumps in the past two weeks is at risk – especially indoors and / or without a mask.
“That’s why I call this a nightmare. This [likely includes] lots of people and lots of high-ranking government leaders, “Brown University School of Public Health Dean, Dr. Ashish K. Jha wrote on Twitter.
This situation is also a reminder that “tests are just a protective layer,” said Dr. Yeh. Everyone in this week’s debate had to undergo a COVID-19 test (and get a negative result) before entering the venue, SELF previously explained. Of course, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t test positive a day or two later – and may have exposed others to the virus in the meantime. While testing is obviously a critical part of our strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we cannot rely on testing alone to ensure our safety. We must also continue to use the other public safety tools we have – wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing – and running tests to get the best possible protection.
Of course, we wish the President a speedy recovery and know that he can benefit from the best care medicine can offer. Meanwhile, the US officially lost 200,000 lives to the coronavirus just last week. As Biden pointed out in this week’s presidential debate, the US accounts for about 4% of the world’s population but 20% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths. It’s a devastating and frustrating amount of loss, especially when you consider that a stronger federal government response may have prevented much of it. If only someone had known in February how dangerous this thing really is.