Prior to the big announcement, Trump had announced that he and his wife Melania were self-isolating after one of his top aides had tested positive for coronavirus. The First Lady tweeted about the situation stating:
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.
A letter from Trump’s physician Sean Conley on Thursday had confirmed that both the President and his wife had tested positive for the virus and states that they would remain at the white house for the duration of their isolation. The letter stated:
The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country's greatest medical professionals and institutions. 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 positive test comes after Ms Hicks, a counsellor and close aide ofTrump’salso came down with the virus on Thursday after she accompanied the President to a rally. Over the week Ms Hicks had travelled with Trump a number of times including on the presidential helicopter Marine One and on Air Force 1 to the first presidential debate on Tuesday.
However, Donald Trump decided to pass the blame on to the soldiers and law enforcement claiming that ‘you get close and things happen.’ He told Fox News:
It's very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you.
Several other White House staff have also tested positive for the virus including Mike Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller as well as one of the President’s personal valets.
Trump’s age and size put him at exceptional risk from coronavirus complications and last year medial officials confirmed that he had reached the threshold for obesity. Despite this, Trump still shook hands with visitors despite being advised against it, refused to wear a mask and initially also refused COVID-19 testing.
So far seven million people have tested positivefor the virus in the US and 200,000 more have died, threatening the nature of both the presidential election on November 3rd and the remaining two presidential debates, the next one is set to be held in Miami on the October 15th.