- Donald Trump and his wife Melania have both tested positive for COVID-19.
- The president confirmed they had contracted the virus on Twitter early Friday morning.
- They were tested after presidential aide Hope Hicks became symptomatic while traveling with Trump and his entourage to rallies around the country.
Both Donald Trump and his wife Melania have tested positive for COVID-19, the president announced on Twitter early Friday morning. "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Trump tweeted. Melania Trump subsequently tweeted that she and her husband were "feeling good," adding, "I have postponed all upcoming engagements."
The president and first lady were tested after close aide Hope Hicks became symptomatic while traveling with Trump and his entourage to rallies around the country, the Guardian reports. According to the Washington Post, Trump still flew with his entourage to a fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey on Thursday—after White House officials became aware that Hicks was displaying symptoms. The president did not wear a mask on the plane or during the event, and was in "close contact with dozens of other people" during a roundtable. On Thursday evening, Trump announced on Twitter that he and his wife were self-isolating while awaiting their test results after Hicks tested positive.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic, while a Cornell study released earlier this week named him the largest driver of COVID-19 misinformation, as the New York Times reports. At the Al Smith dinner held hours before he tested positive, the president declared in pre-recorded remarks, "The end of the pandemic is in sight," according to CNN. Previously, he's claimed the virus would "disappear," and that the U.S. is "rounding the corner" on the pandemic, as CNN reports, claims emphatically refuted by health experts.