In an extraordinary development coming months into a global pandemic and in the final stretch of his re-election campaign in which he has flouted experts’ guidance on preventing the disease’s spread, United States President, Donald Trump, announced early Friday that he and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.
Reports say that the diagnosis amounts to the most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades.
Trump, at 74 years old and obese, 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.
Furthermore, 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.
Trump tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. Friday:
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!.
Later, the first lady wrote on Twitter that she and her husband were “feeling good.”
The U.S President 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, the President’s physician, 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.
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.
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.