U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, he confirmed in a tweet, with just 32 days until the U.S. election.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump tweeted, referring to his wife, First Lady Melania Trump. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The confirmation came after Hope Hicks, one of Trumps closest aides, tested positive for the coronavirus overnight. Hicks traveled with Trump on Tuesday for his debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Cleveland aboard Air Force One and was pictured without a mask, and traveled with the president during his rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. Prior to confirming his positive test, Trump had said he would go into quarantine.
Trumps weight and age put him at risk of complications from COVID-19.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Based on a health assessment from his doctor last year, the president is obese, and studies show that people with pre-existing conditions — including obesity — face higher risks of severe illness and death if they contract the coronavirus.
Trumps age — 74 — is also a risk factor, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finding that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the U.S. among those aged 65 years and older.
White House physician Sean Conley confirmed the positive test results in a memo dated October 1 to the White House press secretary, saying that the Trumps are both “well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
Conley added: “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.”
Melania Trump tweeted: “We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
Trump has faced criticism for his dismissive attitude toward coronavirus precautions such as the wearing of face masks. During Tuesdays presidential debate against Biden, moderator Chris Wallace, a Fox News anchor, asked Trump about his questioning of the effectiveness of masks to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Trump responded, “When needed, I wear masks,” before adding, referring to Biden, “I dont — I dont wear masks like him. Every time you see him, hes got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask Ive ever seen. ”
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