Friday Oct 02 2020
Web Desk

Trump, Melania test positive for coronavirus

Web Desk
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. -Reuters

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are going into quarantine "immediately".

"We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" tweeted the US president.

Trump is the latest world leader to have contracted the virus. British Prime Minister Boris Jonhson was the first major leader who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March.

Election campaign in doldrums

The future of Trump’s re-election campaign is in doldrums due to his illness and inability to address the rallies before the crucial November 3 vote.

According to a New York Times report, “Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time.”

“If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all,” the report added.

The report noted that the positive test could prove “devastating” to his political fortunes given his months of diminishing the seriousness of the pandemic.

Earlier, the US President had tweeted that he was awaiting his test results after one of his close adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus. He had also said that he was going into quarantine with his wife Melania while awaiting for the result. 

Hope Hicks, a top adviser to the president who has travelled with him on Air Force One several times this week, has contracted the virus, according to US media reports.

“Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!” he wrote on Twitter.

Read more: UAE reports highest daily coronavirus cases since outbreak

“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for COVID-19,” he said. 

In an interview on Fox News, Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had been tested for the virus and would know the results later on Thursday or Friday.

"I spend a lot of time with Hope, and so does the first lady. And she's tremendous," he said.

The president, who is tested regularly for COVID-19, has kept up a rigorous travel schedule across the country in recent weeks, holding rallies with thousands of people in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, despite warnings from public health professionals against having events with large crowds.

Hicks' positive test raises the possibility that others within Trump's immediate circle and at the highest levels of the US government may have been exposed and have to quarantine as well.