Donald Trump and his wife Melania tested positive for COVID-19 and the president was admitted to a hospital as a precaution.
Trump has “slight symptoms,” Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Friday before the helicopter transfer to a military hospital, where he will remain for several days, was announced.
The president of the United States announced on twitter in the early hours of this Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus, like his wife Melania.
Trump taken to hospital “as a precautionary measure” one day after testing positive for covid-19
White House physician Sean Conley said Friday that the president is “tired but in a good mood” and was being evaluated by a “team of experts.”
The president is 74 years old and therefore belongs to the high-risk group.
According to Trump’s most recent physical exam, he weighed 110.7 kg earlier this year. This is considered obese for his height of 1.9 meters.
This Friday it was learned that both the vice president, Mike Pence, his wife and the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and his wife tested negative.
It is not yet clear how this contagion will affect the organization of the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15 in Miami, Florida.
Trump’s doctor, Conley, issued a statement saying that the president and the first lady “are doing well at this time” and “plan to stay in the White House during their convalescence.”
But that changed now with the transfer of the president to the military hospital.
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Trump almost never wears a mask and often does not maintain social distancing from his aides or others during official engagements.
The president of the United States joins the list of senior leaders who were infected in recent months such as Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, and Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Minimize the pandemic
For months Trump publicly hinted that the common flu is more dangerous than COVID-19 and was skeptical about the severity of the disease.
“We cannot let the remedy be worse than the problem,” Trump tweeted on March 23, questioning the shutdown of the economy due to the pandemic and social distancing measures.
However, before the coronavirus reached the country, the president of the United States already knew that it was more lethal than the flu, but as he told journalist Bob Woodward, he wanted to minimize it to avoid panic.
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The question now is how Trump’s convalescence will affect the election campaign.
How momentous is this?
Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America Correspondent
A week after Donald Trump told Americans not to worry about COVID-19 because it “affects virtually no one” except the elderly and people with heart conditions, the president himself tested positive for the virus.
It’s hard to say exactly how momentous this is just 32 days before the US election, especially now that the president had to self-quarantine for treatment.
The campaign rallies are canceled and the next presidential debate should take place in two weeks.
The president’s usual message that the nation is “turning around” the pandemic has been undermined by his own illness.
Just two days ago, during the first debate, Trump disparaged Democratic opponent Joe Biden for frequently wearing face masks and not holding campaign rallies the same size as his own.
Now, the White House and the campaign will have to answer why the president adopted such a seemingly arrogant attitude, and how many senior officials in the White House may have been exposed.