KABUL (Pajhwok): US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus — a month until the November 3 election.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted early Friday.
Melania, through her official account, said she and Trump were quarantining at home after testing positive for Covid-19 “as too many Americans have done this year”.
“We are feeling good and I have postponed all upcoming engagements,” she said.
Trump’s positive test comes just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks came down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week. Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and looked to be in good health. Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 200,000 people across US.
The diagnosis marks a major blow for a president who has been trying desperately to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them even as cases continue to rise just weeks before the November 3 election. And it stands as the most serious known public health scare encountered by any sitting American president in recent history.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, Trump said he was awaiting results of a Covid-19 test. “Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know,” he said, adding that first lady Melania was also awaiting results.
Trump had consistently played down concerns about being personally vulnerable to contracting Covid-19, even after White House staff and allies were exposed and sickened.
“I felt no vulnerability whatsoever,” he said told reporters back in May.
He has instead encouraged governors to reopen their states and tried to focus the nation’s attention on efforts to revive the economy — not a growing death toll — as he seeks another four-year term.