President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the president tweeted early Friday morning.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for Covid-19,” he wrote. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
The White House has not said if either is experiencing symptoms. Hope Hicks, a longtime press aide to Trump who recently traveled with him on Air Force One, also tested positive for the virus, the New York Times reported.
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
The president’s physician said Trump could carry out his duties from the Executive Mansion.
Trump’s age, 74, elevates the risks he faces from the virus, as does his weight, which was last reported at 244 pounds. For the president’s height, 6-foot-3, his weight qualified him as obese.
His first physical as president, in 2017, found he had a common form of heart disease and high cholesterol. The White House physician at the time suggested he lose 10 to 15 pounds, but the president has gained eight pounds since then. His 2020 physical showed his cholesterol level has improved, however, to 167 from 196 a year earlier.
More than 207,000 Americans are known to have died of Covid-19, although the true number is believed to be higher, based on the elevated overall death rate this year. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dashboard estimates there have been as many as 285,000 excess deaths since Feb. 1.
“My thoughts are with President Trump and the first lady and I wish them a full and speedy recovery,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Friday morning. “This virus is vicious and spreads easily. Wear a mask. Let’s all look out for each other.”
In February and March, at the onset of the pandemic in the U.S., Trump publicly downplayed the threat of the virus and suggested it would quickly go away. But he began to take it more seriously when he learned in late March that major New York retail landlord Stanley Chera had contracted Covid and was in a coma. Chera, the founder of Crown Acquisitions, died at age 77 on April 11. Chera was a friend of Trump’s and had supported his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump’s positive test on Thursday came two days after his first debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, during which the president mocked his opponent for often wearing a mask. Trump, who for months refused to wear a mask, said he now wears one when he needs it.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.