New Delhi October 2nd
US President Donald Trump on Friday (local time) announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus and have been quarantined together, a month prior to the start of US Presidential Elections. The development can disrupt Trump’s scheduled public appearances in the crucial last weeks of the election campaign.
Trump confirmed this news on Friday and said, “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 and Melania Trump underwent COVID-19 test after a top adviser and trusted aide of the Trumps, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the deadly pathogen on Thursday. Trump, prior to the announcement about his positive report, had confirmed on his Twitter that Hicks has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and Melania and he are waiting for their test results.
“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”, Trump tweeted.
Hicks was travelling with Trump on Air Force One just this Tuesday to fly to Cleveland for the first presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden. She was also with him on the Marine One helicopter Wednesday when he flew back to the White House after a rally in Minnesota.
The next course of action for the President and the First Lady was not immediately clear as he has events scheduled for Friday in Florida and Saturday in Wisconsin. In a statement, a White House official said: “contact tracing has been done, and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made”.
Hicks is the latest White House aide to test positive for the virus which has so far infected 7,277,352 people in the US and killed 207,791 others, making it the worst-hit country in the world.
Apart from Hicks, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien had also tested positive, as well as a White House valet who serves the President. Katie Miller, the Vice President’s communications director and the wife of Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, were also infected by the deadly virus earlier.