Highlights

  • Donald Trump and Melania Trump both test positive for COVID-19
  • The president has “mild symptoms” of coronavirus
  • Democratic opponent Joe Biden and his wife test negative
  • Massive testing and tracing underway at the White House

 

US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now self-isolating.

Mr Trump, aged 74 and therefore in a high-risk group, wrote on Twitter: “We will get through this together.”

The announcement comes barely a month before Trump faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the presidential election slated for November 3.

The president has “mild symptoms” of coronavirus, White House officials say.

The development comes after Hope Hicks, one of Mr Trump’s closest aides, tested positive.

In a tweet, Mr Biden and his wife Jill wished the first couple a swift recovery: “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family,” he said.

Mr TrumpSeveral world leaders have also expressed their prayers and wishes for the speedy recovery of the US president and his wife, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

President Trump and First Lady Melania have gone into isolation in line with Covid-19 protocols.

The Bidens negative

Meanwhile, Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden have tested negative and Joe Biden will continue with his campaign, according to an announcement by the Biden Campaign.

A Republican senator who had visited the White House, the Chairwoman of the Republican party, a White House journalist, and a White House press officer have also been reported to have contracted the virus.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News said on Friday he was getting tested.

Isolation

A person is required to self-isolate after either showing coronavirus symptoms or a positive test. Quarantine restricts the movements of those who have been in contact with an infected person but are not themselves positive or symptomatic.

Mask wearing

Mr Trump has mostly spurned mask-wearing and has often been pictured not socially distanced with aides or others during official engagements.

He had mocked Joe Biden at Tuesday’s debate, taunting him for always wearing ‘giant’ masks even where there was no risk of exposure to the virus.

The CNN reports that the president went to an election fund raising in New Jersey on Thursday where there was minimal mask wearing and social distancing, despite his exposure to his top aide, Hope Hicks, who was reported to have contracted the virus on Wednesday.

Massive testing and contract tracing are underway at the white House as many staffers are suspected to have been exposed to the virus.

The coronavirus has infected more than 7.2 million Americans, killing more than 208,000 of them.

 

NP/Fati/Monitored

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