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The President Tests Positive, Vice President Tests Negative: How Trump Is Responding

10-02-2020
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President Trump (AP photo)

President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump have announced that they've tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The shocking news comes just hours after word that Trump's senior aide Hope Hicks tested positive. The announcement is reverberating around the world and means, for now, that the president and first lady will isolate at the White House.

The president tweeted the news about his and the first lady's test shortly after midnight. He exclaimed optimistically, "We will get through this together!"

The first lady also tweeted "we are feeling good and I have postponed all upcoming engagements."

Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence both tested negative for the disease.

The White House released a Friday schedule showing canceled events for the president, including a Florida rally.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters the president is only experiencing “mild symptoms” at this time, and the Trumps "remain in good spirits.” He also noted that he believes more White House staffers will likely test positive for the coronavirus in light of their close proximity to Hope Hicks and the first family.

A memorandum from the president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, went out early this morning saying the president and first lady are both doing fine and plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence. 

"I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption," wrote Conley. His note did not mention whether either is experiencing symptoms.

Just last night the president phoned-in to the Hannity show on Fox News to talk about his aide Hope Hicks and her positive test. He also admitted to having close contact with members of the military.

"You know, it's very hard when you're with soldiers, when you're with airmen, when you are with the Marines and with the police officers. I'm with them so much. And when they come over me, it's very hard to stay, stay back," he said.

How the president's health will affect the campaign is unknown but having to pause in-person rallies and appearances one month out from the election will certainly force him to recreate his campaign style.

It will also likely affect the next debate set for Oct. 15th.

At this week's debate, the president made fun of Vice President Biden for wearing masks. "I don't wear masks like him," said Trump. "Every time you see him he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from it and he shows up with the biggest mask I've seen."

The president has also come under criticism for holding large rallies with most people not wearing masks and he is rarely seen wearing one.

He joins a number of other world leaders, like the UK's Boris Johnson and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, who have also tested positive.

The president is 74 years old which puts him in a category of people most adversely affected by the virus. If he should become sick enough to be incapacitated, he has the ability under the 25th Amendment to transfer power temporarily to Vice President Mike Pence.

Fox News reports that the vice president tests daily and that he and his wife tested negative this morning.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that he and his wife tested this morning and that their results were negative.
    

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