Advertisement

President Trump, First Lady test positive hours after positive test from aide Hope Hicks

President Trump says he and the first lady are awaiting coronavirus test results after a top aide was confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Advertisement

President Donald Trump says he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus after a top aide he spent substantial time with this week tested positive for COVID-19.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Advertisement

Trump made the announcement following news that Hope Hicks, one his closest aides, tested positive for the coronavirus after spending time in close proximity to him this week. She is the most senior White House official to test positive so far.

Hicks began feeling mild symptoms during the plane ride home from a rally in Minnesota Wednesday evening, according to an administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose private information. She was quarantined away from others on the plane and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday, the person said.

Trump traveled to New Jersey Thursday for a fundraiser. His social media director Dan Scavino and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who were originally set to join him on the trip, were replaced at the last minute by other aides.

Trump speculated that Hicks could have contracted the virus from an interaction with a supporter.

"She's a very warm person. She has a hard time, when soldiers and law enforcement comes up to her, you know, she wants to treat them great, not say, 'Stay away, I can't get near you.' It's a very, very tough disease," he said.

Hicks' positive test is yet another reminder that the virus continues to spread. Since the beginning, he, the White House and his campaign have played down the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines — including those issued by his own administration — such as wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing. Instead, Trump has continued to hold campaign rallies that draw thousands of supporters. The virus has killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected more than 7 million nationwide.

“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” Deere said.

Hicks traveled with the president multiple times this week, including aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, and on Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night's first presidential debate in Cleveland.

Hicks is one of the president's most trusted and longest-serving aides, having worked as a spokesperson for his 2016 campaign. She originally served as White House as communications director and re-joined the administration this year as an adviser ahead of the election. Her positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News on Thursday evening. She did not respond to a request for comment.

Multiple White House staffers have tested positive for the virus, including Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, and one of the president's personal valets.

After earlier positive cases close to the president, the White House instituted a daily testing regimen for the president’s senior aides. Anyone who will be in close proximity to the president or vice president is also tested every day, including reporters.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days, White House staffers are considered essential workers. CDC guidelines for exposed essential workers allows them to return to work if they take precautions, including taking their temperature before going into work, wearing a mask at all times and practicing social distancing.

CNN and Hearst TV contributed to this report.