President Donald Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The president revealed the news in the early morning on Friday (October 2) via a Twitter post from his personal account.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The news of Trump's positive test result arrived amidst a turbulent election season, after the coronavirus pandemic, the severity of which he downplayed for months, had killed over 207,000 Americans and sent the economy into a downward tailspin. Just days prior, during the meandering first presidential debate on Tuesday (September 29), the president assured the audience at home that the end of the pandemic was "nearly in sight."
Trump was experiencing mild systems Friday morning, according to a White House official and reported by NBC News, but was "in good spirits." He will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified length of time, and his physician said he could continue to fulfill his duties "without disruption." A Florida campaign rally previously scheduled for Friday has been scrapped, and appearances in Wisconsin on Saturday and Arizona on Monday also seem to have been canceled. It is unclear whether the second presidential debate, slated for October 15 in Miami, will move forward.
“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,” White House physician Dr. Sean P. Conley said in a statement, per The New York Times. “Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”
At 74, Trump is among the most vulnerable population to the coronavirus. Though the majority of people infected recover, eight of every 10 deaths in the United States have been those 65 and older, and the threat escalates with age. With only 32 days before the election on November 3, the test result posed questions about the future of his campaign against Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.