US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now in quarantine.
The president, aged 74 and therefore in a high-risk group, announced the news in a tweet. “We will get through this together,” he wrote.
It comes after one of his closest aides tested positive for coronavirus.
Hope Hicks, the 31-year-old adviser to the president, was the closest aide to Mr Trump to test positive so far.
She travelled with him on Air Force One to the first presidential TV debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden in Ohio on Tuesday. Some of Mr Trump’s family members who attended the debate were seen not wearing masks.
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
Mr Trump has mostly spurned mask-wearing and has often been pictured not socially distanced with aides or others during official engagements.
Mr Trump’s physician Sean Conley released a statement, saying the president and the first lady “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence”.
“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,” the statement said.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump said he and his wife, who is 50, were going into quarantine after Ms Hicks’s positive test.
He tweeted: “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!”
It is not clear how Mr Trump’s positive test will affect arrangements for the second presidential debate, which is scheduled for 15 October in Miami, Florida.
What about Hope Hick?
According to Bloomberg News, Ms Hicks is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, and was quarantined on Air Force One on the trip back from Minnesota.
A White House official quoted by The Hill political news outlet said that contact tracing had been carried out “and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made”.
During a phone call with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Mr Trump said he and Mrs Trump “spend a lot of time with Hope”.
Ms Hicks was a campaign spokeswoman during Mr Trump’s candidacy before becoming communications director in his White House.
She stepped down in March 2018 to become chief communications officer at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox, before returning to the White House in February.
Have there been other cases at the White House?
In May, Vice-President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller tested positive and later recovered.
That same month, a member of the US Navy who was serving as one of Mr Trump’s personal valets tested positive.
But the White House said at the time that neither the president nor vice-president were affected.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, a number of Secret Service agents, a Marine One pilot and a White House cafeteria worker have also tested positive.
The coronavirus has infected more than 7.2 million Americans, killing more than 200,000 of them.
The White House tests aides and anyone else who comes into contact with the president daily.
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