President Donald Trump says he and First Lady Melania Trump are in quarantine after aide Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19.
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Donald and Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, the president said Thursday. By Friday afternoon, he was transported to Walter Reed Military Hospital in a measure of caution, and was able to walk by himself to and from the Marine One helicopter.
“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms and has been working throughout the day,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the president will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”
Trump tweeted a video filmed in the White House just after arriving at the hospital around 6:30 p.m. ET, thanking people for their support. “I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital, I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said in the video. “The First Lady is doing very well.”
Trump tweeted the news about his test results Thursday night, saying “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.” The first lady tweeted: “We are feeling good and I have postponed all upcoming engagements.”
Earlier in the evening, the president, 74, revealed that he and the first lady, 50, had entered quarantine after learning that top White House aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus.
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
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.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a memorandum late Thursday that the president and first lady were “both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
The doctor continued, “Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any further developments.”
Earlier this week, the world passed a grim milestone when Johns Hopkins University reported that more than 1 million people had died as a result of the novel coronavirus. That revelation came less than a week after the number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in the US surpassed 200,000.
As the virus has spread across the world, health care professionals have warned that certain groups of people, including older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, are at a higher risk of developing a serious or even fatal illness if they’re infected with COVID-19.
Read more: COVID: When to get tested for the coronavirus and how long it will take to get results
The coronavirus is spread mainly through respiratory vapor, such as when someone sneezes or coughs into the air around you. Some experts have also suggested that the virus can linger in the air and that this may play a role in transmission.
Health officials continue to encourage people to wash their hands regularly, wear a mask when out in public, practice social distancing and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
People who’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 should contact their doctor or local health care provider. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a coronavirus test for the following reasons: if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, if you’ve had close contact with someone — within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes — with a positive COVID-19 test, or if you’ve been asked by your health care provider to get a test.
Read more: Coronavirus symptoms: The full list, according to the CDC
Who’s been tested
The announcement of the president’s and first lady’s positive coronavirus test results came just hours after the revelation about Hicks’ results. The president indicated in an earlier tweet Thursday that he and the first lady had begun the quarantine process.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Hicks has accompanied Trump on several campaign trips in recent days, including to the presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening and a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Though the candidates tackled topics including race relations, climate change and the Supreme Court during Tuesday’s face-off, the coronavirus dominated much of the debate. Trump defended his decision to often appear in public without a facial covering, explaining that he wears a mask “when needed.”
“I think masks are OK,” Trump said, when asked by moderator Chris Wallace why he typically appears in public without wearing one. He pulled out a mask from his suit jacket to show he carried it with him.
See also: Face masks: Here are the best and worst materials for protecting against coronavirus
“I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it. Tonight is an example, everybody has had a test,” Trump said. “I wear a mask when needed. When needed, I wear masks.”
On Friday, Biden said he and his wife had tested negative for COVID-19. Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and her husband also said they tested negative on Friday.
I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence both tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, said Pence’s press secretary, Devin O’Malley.
“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day,” said O’Malley in a tweet. “This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.”
Read more: Coronavirus pandemic 7 months later: Everything we know right now
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both serve as senior White House advisers, also tested negative on Friday, according to White House spokeswoman Carolina Hurley.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, said Trump “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”
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“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 continued in a statement sent to CNN.
The Trump campaign on Friday said that previously announced events involving the president will be changed to virtual events or temporarily postponed.
The president is taking a medication cocktail from Regeneron
In an update Friday at 4 p.m. ET, Press Secretary McEnany tweeted another report from the president’s doctor revealing Trump received “a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail.” The president has also been taking vitamin D, zinc, melatonin, aspirin and famotidine.
“The president remains fatigued but in good spirits,” the White House physician said. “First Lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache.”
According to a Sept. 29 statement from Tarrytown, New York-based Regeneron, the medication “reduced viral load and the time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19” during trials.
The REGN-COV2 cocktail — which combines the two monoclonal antibodies of REGN10933 and REGN10987 and was designed especially to treat SARS-CoV-2 — is also being tested for preventing infection in people who have been exposed to coronavirus patients, and in treating hospitalized patients.
“The greatest treatment benefit was in patients who had not mounted their own effective immune response, suggesting that REGN-COV2 could provide a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D. and Regeneron chief scientific officer. “These patients were less likely to clear the virus on their own, and were at greater risk for prolonged symptoms.”
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