WASHINGTON (News Nation/WFLA) – President Trump and the first lady have tested positive for COVID-19.
The President made the announcement on his Twitter page early Friday morning.
President Trump announced late Thursday evening that they would begin the quarantine process.
News of the test comes after Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, tested positive for the coronavirus after spending time in close proximity to him this week.
Hicks, who serves as counselor to Trump and traveled with him to a rally Wednesday, tested positive Thursday, according to an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private health information. She is the most senior White House official to test positive so far.
The positive test is yet another reminder that the virus continues to spread, even as Trump has tried desperately to pretend it no longer poses a danger. Since the beginning, he, the White House and his campaign have played down the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines — including those issued by his own administration — such as wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing. Instead, Trump has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of supporters. The virus has killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected more than 7 million nationwide.
In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”
“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” Deere said.
Hicks traveled with the president multiple times this week, including on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a Minnesota rally Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate.
Hicks is one of the president’s most trusted and longest-serving aides, having worked as spokesperson for his 2016 campaign. She originally served as White House as communications director, and re-joined the administration this year as an adviser ahead of the election. Her positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News on Thursday evening. She did not respond to a request for comment.
Multiple White House staffers have tested positive for the virus, including Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, and one of the president’s personal valets.
The president spoke with Fox News on Thursday and says he and the first lady had been tested recently and are awaiting their results.
“I just went out for a test.. it will come back later I guess, and the first lady also because we spend a lot of time with Hope,” he said.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days, White House staffers are considered essential workers. CDC’s guidelines for exposed essential workers allows them to return to work if they take precautions, including taking their temperature before going into work, wearing a mask at all times and practicing social distancing.