President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, Trump announced on Twitter late Thursday night. The president’s coronavirus diagnosis comes just one month before the 2020 presidential election and two days after he joined former Vice President Joe Biden on stage for the first presidential debate.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The announcement came hours after the news that White House adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus; Hicks had traveled with the president on Air Force One to and from Tuesday’s debate.
In a memo provided to the Associated Press, Trump’s physician said the president and the first lady “are both well at this time” and “plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.” He added: “Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”
Trump, who has continued to hold campaign rallies despite expert advice to practice social distancing, has come under fire in recent weeks after a recording of an interview revealed the president knew the virus was more deadly than the flu and that he deliberately downplayed it, falsely asserting that it would go away on its own.
During the debate Tuesday, Trump claimed his rallies have not harmed Americans, saying, “So far, we have had no problem whatsoever.”
COVID-19 has killed more than 208,000 Americans since February.