President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Trumps underwent testing for the virus after Hope Hicks, one of his top aides, received a positive diagnosis on Wednesday.
Trump has been campaigning across the country this week. He was in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday night for his first debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden and was in Duluth, Minnesota the day after. On Thursday he attended a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump also appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show last night, where he discussed Hicks’s diagnosis.
‘She did test positive, I just heard about this,’ he said. ‘And I just went out with a test, I’ll see — you know, ’cause we spend a lot of time — and the first lady just went out with a test also.
‘So whether we quarantine, or whether we have it, we don’t know.’
At almost 1 a.m. on Friday morning, Trump tweeted: ‘Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!’
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
Melania Trump tweeted: ‘As too many Americans have done this year, @POTUS & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.’
‘INJECT BLEACH AND WAIT FOR APRIL WHEN IT WILL GO AWAY,’ reads the top reply.
Biden tweeted out a statement on Friday morning: ‘Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.’
The Democratic nominee is presently set to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday to ‘deliver remarks on building back the economy better for working families’. Luckily for him, there’s a page on the Michigan state government website advising what to do if you’ve ‘been exposed to COVID-19’. The state defines ‘close contact’ as either ‘being within approximately six feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time’ or ‘having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)’. Biden spent 90 minutes of Tuesday evening in a yelling match with Trump — though they were more than six feet apart.
Many have been quick to speculate that Trump is likely to die of the virus due to his advanced age and weight. But this isn’t necessarily the case: different people of the same age can have varying responses to COVID infection, as Dr Alessandro Sette of the La Jolla Institute of Immunology told The Spectator last week.
‘Even within people of advanced age, their immune system differs,’ said Sette. ‘Your immune system has a pool of cells which are called naive cells, which are the ones that the immune system uses to develop a response against something that they’ve never seen. As you age, your pool of naive cells shrinks progressively. If you look at different people of the same age, some may have a larger pool and some a smaller pool. What my colleague Shane Crotty has shown is that really the people that have a small pool of naive cells are the people that are more at risk of severe COVID within that age bracket. But two people with the same birthday may have hugely different pools of naive cells.’
Trump’s diagnosis throws the 2020 race into further disarray. Don’t expect any in-person events with the President for the first half of the month. Plus, the second presidential debate is scheduled to take place on October 15 in Miami. Trump’s participation is presumably contingent on him testing negative between now and then — he wouldn’t be admitted to the arena otherwise. Could we therefore see a change in format? Could the next debate go virtual?
Talk about an October surprise…