President Trump and first lady test positive for coronavirus


Photo by Nikolas Liepins, with the NSPA Campaign 2020 Photo Exchange Project

President Donald Trump addresses the crowd at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, for his 2020 presidential campaign rally on October 10, 2019.

by Alysa Suleiman, Nicole Tian, and Erica Cai

President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump announced that they have both contracted COVID-19 and begun quarantining in a tweet at 9:54 p.m. PST. The announcement follows senior adviser Hope Hicks testing positive on Thursday afternoon. 

White House physician Sean P. Conley confirmed that both the president and the first lady tested positive in a letter to the president and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Conley also stated that they both plan to remain in the White House to quarantine and recover. 

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden stated through Twitter that he and Dr. Jill Biden have tested negative. His running mate, Kamala Harris, also tweeted that she and her husband Douglas Emhoff have tested negative

According to a Harvard Medical School post, the 48 hours before a person shows symptoms of the coronavirus may be the time when the virus is most likely to spread to others. Hicks was among top White House officials who accompanied the president to the first round of presidential debates on Tuesday. One of Trump’s personal valets tested positive for the coronavirus in May, but both Trump and Vice President Pence tested negative at the time. 

In the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, Trump stated that he only wears masks “when needed.” He has downplayed the need for masks and social distancing, gathering large rallies with participants who have opted against following public health precautions. 

Trump’s recent campaign trail included an event in Minnesota yesterday night and a brief fundraiser in New Jersey earlier today. A rally for Trump’s presidential campaign previously scheduled to take place tomorrow at Orlando Sanford International Airport has been canceled. 

Other future campaign events may also be cancelled, potentially including the next presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

At age 74, Trump is in a high risk category for COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight out of ten COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older.

As stated in the 25th Amendment, the position of president will be filled by the vice president, currently Pence, in the case of the president’s death or incapacitation. In the case that the vice president is also unable to serve, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-C.A.), will assume the executive role. The amendment has been invoked three times in the nation’s history, once during Ronald Reagan’s presidency due to surgery and twice during President George W. Bush’s 8-year tenure as a result of medical procedures.

This is a developing story. Check Harker Aquila for future updates.