President Trump announced early Friday that both he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and will quarantine at the White House, sending shockwaves through the political universe and igniting an outpouring of support for the first family.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
He added: “We will get through this TOGETHER!”
A White House source told Fox News shortly after the president’s tweet that he and the first lady are “fine” and are in the quarantine process at the White House.
Melania Trump also tweeted, “As too many Americans have done this year, @POTUS & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”
Dr. Sean P. Conley, the president’s physician, also confirmed Trump and the first lady’s positive COVID-19 tests.
“This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-coV-2- virus,” Conley said. “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.”
“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,” he continued.
He added: “Rest assured I expected the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence early Friday offered prayers for the president and first lady. A spokesman said Pence and his wife tested negative Friday morning.
“Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump,” Pence tweeted. “We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.”
A White House official told Fox News on Friday that most West Wing officials and staff who are in close proximity to the president are tested for COVID-19 daily.
Another White House official told Fox News that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tested negative for COVID-19 in his most recent test. That test, according to the official, was conducted as part of normal protocol.
The president and first lady’s positive coronavirus tests came just hours after news surfaced that senior White House adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a source familiar, Hicks — who has been traveling with the president this week — began showing symptoms of coronavirus Wednesday night, either during or after Trump’s Duluth campaign event. She was quarantined aboard Air Force One on the way back and tested positive on Thursday morning, the source said.
“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19,” Trump tweeted late Thursday. “Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”
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 guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” Deere said.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that “the strength of the entire country is with President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS.”
“America stands united. Our country stands strong,” McEnany tweeted. “Your President will continue to put the People first!”
National security sources tell Fox News that the president should be planning to delegate his authority should his symptoms become severe and his situation become extreme, citing continuity of government provisions in the 25th Amendment.
“Whenever the President transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President,” the 25th Amendment reads.
The internal White House group called “Continuity of Government Operations Team” is currently working to prevent a mass outbreak of the coronavirus among White House staff and relocate staff to multiple locations to contain exposure.
A former senior intelligence official also said that Trump or Pence should address the nation on Friday to send a signal that the U.S. government will continue to function. A White House official, however, says that there are not plans as of Friday morning for a national address.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus would also wish Trump a “full and speedy recovery.”
“My best wishes to President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS for a full and speedy recovery,” he tweeted on Friday morning.
Chancellor Angela Merkel would also send her best wishes to Donald and Melania Trump, according to a tweet by Steffen Seibert, a government spokesman for Germany.