President Donald Trump has announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine.
Donald Trump, aged 74, and therefore in a high-risk group, tweeted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
It comes after Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, tested positive.
President Trump’s announcement comes just over a month before the presidential elections on November 3 where he faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Hope Hicks, 31, travelled with President Trump on Air Force One to the first presidential TV debate with Joe Biden in Ohio on September 29. Some of Donald Trump’s family members who attended the debate were seen not wearing masks.
President Trump has mostly spurned mask-wearing and has often been pictured not socially distanced with aides or others during official engagements.
More than 7.2 million Americans have been infected so far and the new coronavirus killed more than 200,000 of them.
Donald Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, released a statement on October 1, saying the president and the first lady were “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.
The physician provided no further details.
According to President Trump’s most recent physical examination earlier this year, he weighed 244lb. This is considered to be obese for his height of 6.3ft.
However, Dr Conley stated at the time that the president “remains healthy”. President Trump will also have the best medical care available.
The CDC says a person must go in quarantine for 10 days after a positive test.
President Trump said he and his wife, who is 50, were going into quarantine after Hope Hicks’s positive test.
The president 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 President Trump’s positive test will affect arrangements for the second presidential debate, which is scheduled for October 15 in Miami, Florida.
Donald Trump is not the first world leader to have tested positive. Earlier this year, British PM Boris Johnson and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro were infected. They both have since recovered, although Boris Johnson had to receive regular oxygen treatment to help his breathing during hospitalization.
In May, VP 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 President Trump’s personal valets tested positive.
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 White House tests aides and anyone else who comes into contact with the president daily.