The diagnosis amounts to the most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades. At 74 years old and obese, Trump falls into the highest risk category for serious complications from the disease, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and more than 1 million people worldwide.
His infection with the disease could prove destabilizing in an already fraught political climate, and stock market futures tumbled on news of Trump’s infection.
“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 shortly before 1 a.m. Friday.
Later, the first lady wrote on Twitter that she and her husband were “feeling good.”
Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey. He did not appear ill, though he did not speak to reporters as he walked into his residence.
In a memo issued to reporters around 1 a.m. ET, the President’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, wrote that he received confirmation of the positive tests on Thursday evening.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” Conley wrote.
“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions,” Conley wrote, without elaborating what assistance was being provided to the White House.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any further developments,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump shocked the world late Thursday night, when he revealed that he and first lady Melania Trump both tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The president is often seen without a mask, prompting questions about whether or not this led to his contracting COVID-19.
Dr. Alok Patel joined ABC7 News to discuss this, and what the White House doctors need to do next.
He began by reminding us, “beyond the politics this is still a very serious medical condition.”
Patel says he expects Trump’s medical team will monitor this extremely closely with routine checks.
In addition, with how many people are around the president, in the White House, and on Air Force 1, contact tracers have a huge job on their hands.
They will be working at a rapid pace, looking at anyone the president and first lady were in contact with in the past two days.
Potentially a lot of people, an “alarming amount” are going to need repeated testing and to go into quarantine, Patel says.
The first reports are that both President Trump and Melania are feeling well. However, because of Trump’s age, he is in a high risk group.
As for the lack of mask-wearing sometimes seen by the president, “The last thing we want to do is blame the patient,” says Patel. “But no one around the president was wearing a mask.”
Patel says this is a “wake-up call.”
“This is a massive message that’s going to be heard all over the world about the seriousness of the virus.”