Donald Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted just before 1 a.m. Eastern on Friday. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The Trumps’ diagnosis comes hours after it was announced that senior aide Hope Hicks had developed symptoms Wednesday and tested positive for the virus, and just two days after Trump spent an hour-and-a-half interrupting Joe Biden and Chris Wallace at the first of three scheduled presidential debates—the second and third of which are now a question mark. “The presidential race has been fundamentally altered tonight, there should be no more in-person gatherings,” Dr. Vin Gupta told NBC News’ Brian Williams while discussing Trump’s diagnosis, adding to the chorus of talking heads assuming that the remaining debates will be canceled.
Dr. Gupta went on to describe how Trump, who has been a vocal downplayer of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, has a “double-whammy” of risk factors. The first is his age, 74. “Add on top—and let’s speak plainly about the President’s medical history as we know it, not as the Surgeon General describes it, which is perfect, or as Dr. Conley describes it, as perfect—meaning his BMI is elevated. Meaning he’s obese, overweight, whatever word we want to describe [it]. That in addition to who knows what else might be present...”
“No masking, no distancing, what did they expect was going to happen,” Dr. Gupta added of the president’s campaign, which has been hosting large group events—including a roundtable and a fundraiser event in New Jersey on Thursday. “My biggest concern is if the President remains asymptomatic that he may use it to tamp down the seriousness of the infection.”
The Trumps are expected to quarantine at the White House for at least a full 14 days.