United State’s President Donald Trump said late on Thursday that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19 and have been quarantined after a top aide tested positive for coronavirus, in a shock development that disrupts his scheduled public appearances in the crucial final weeks of the election campaign.
Trump’s positive test comes just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks came down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week. Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and looked to be in good health.
Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 200,000 people nationwide.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.
Trump announced late Thursday that he and first lady Melania Trump were beginning a “quarantine process” after Hicks came down with the virus, though it wasn’t clear what that entailed. It can take days for an infection to be detectable by a test.
The diagnosis marks a major blow for a president who has been trying desperately to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them even as cases continue to rise with less than four months before Election Day. And it stands as the most serious known public health scare encountered by any sitting American president in recent history.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.