“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump said on Twitter.
CNN reported that the president’s physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, told reporters around 1 a.m. ET that he received confirmation of the positive tests on Thursday evening.
“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,” Conley wrote.
Conley added that he expected the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.
Trump’s announcement came hours after Hope Hicks, one of the president’s senior advisors, tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday. During a Thursday interview with Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, Trump, 74, stated that he and Melania, 50, were tested after Hicks’ test came back positive. Trump tweeted late Thursday that he and Melania had begun to quarantine themselves.
Hicks has been in close physical contact with the president recently and traveled with the president to the first presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday. Hicks and Trump were in close proximity with other individuals close to Trump, including Jared Kushner and Dan Scavino. Few members of Trump’s inner circle at the presidential debate, including Trump’s children, were wearing masks. Trump did not come into physical contact with Biden or debate moderator Chris Wallace at the Tuesday event.
A Biden campaign official told NBC News on Friday that the campaign was pulling all of its anti-Trump advertising amid news that Trump was being flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
Trump has been criticized by politicians, scientists, medical professionals, and various government officials for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Over 7 million Americans have been infected by the coronavirus, which has killed over 200,000 Americans. Trump has repeatedly deflected blame about his handling of the coronavirus since the pandemic began broadly impacting American life in March. A recent book from journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump was aware of the potential dangers of the coronavirus earlier in the year and deliberately hid that information from the public.
Trump is one of several world leaders who has contracted the coronavirus. Others include Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro and United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson, both of whom recovered from the coronavirus.