WASHINGTON (AP/WCCO) — President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild symptoms following a rally in Minnesota.
Shortly before midnight Thursday, the president tweeted the earth-shattering announcement, saying the quarantine and recovery process has began and “we will get through this TOGETHER!”
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Melania Trump says both are “feeling good” and have postponed engagements, but later tweeted that she’s feeling mild symptoms. President Donald Trump is also reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.
Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) October 2, 2020
The White House physician issued a memo confirming the positive tests, and said the president and first lady were doing well and planned to remain at home.
CBS News says the president is expected to receive care at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. Out of an abundance of caution, he will remain there for a few days and will still be able to continue his official duties while being treated.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued the following statement Friday:
“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day. Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady.”
“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” wrote Sean Conley, physician to the president.
Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wished both a swift recovery Friday morning.
Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
On Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence reported he and his wife tested negative for COVID-19.
Not long before the president confirmed the positive tests, it was announced that Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides, tested positive for the coronavirus. That prompted President Trump and Melania Trump to quarantine.
Hicks serves as counselor to the president, and traveled with him to Minnesota Wednesday for a fundraiser in Shorewood, followed by a rally in Duluth.
Hicks is the closest aide to Trump to test positive so far. Hicks traveled with the president multiple times this week, including on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a Minnesota rally Wednesday, and aboard Air Force One to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate.
According to CBS News’ Weijia Jiang, the White House knew about her positive test Wednesday, but Trump still had a fundraiser Thursday.
.@cbsnews has learned Hope Hicks tested negative for COVID-19 Wednesday morning, so she boarded AF1. She developed symptoms during the day and received a second test, which came back positive. The White House knew about this Wed evening but Trump still had a fundraiser Thursday.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) October 2, 2020
WCCO confirms that all three Minnesota GOP Congressmen — Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber — were aboard Air Force One with Trump and Hicks Wednesday. Former Congressman Jason Lewis, who is currently running against Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith in the November election, was also on board.
Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, who is married to Hagedorn, wished everyone a speedy recovery. Hagedorn has stage four kidney cancer.
— Jennifer Carnahan (@jkcarnah) October 2, 2020
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace says members of President Donald Trump’s family didn’t wear masks while they were watching the first presidential debate inside a hall in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday night. Wallace moderated the first presidential debate of the campaign.
Wallace said, “People in the hall did notice that while they were all wearing masks, including my wife and four children, that the first family did not wear masks during the debate. … It is worth noting that different people treated the safety rules inside the hall differently.”
Wallace said on “Fox & Friends” on Friday that Jill Biden, the wife of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and members of her group all wore masks throughout the debate.
“On the Trump side of the hall, Mrs. Trump came in wearing a mask, but took it off once she said sat down,” Wallace said.
Trump is 74 years old and has at least one underlying condition, placing him at a higher risk for complications, according to Centers for Disease Control guidance, but he was said to be feeling well. Melania Trump is 50 years old.
Here is a timeline of their days before being diagnosed, along with who they may have been in contact with this week.
MONDAY, SEPT. 28: At the White House
President Trump spent Monday at the White House, partly in preparation for the next day’s debate.
11:05 a.m. ET: President Trump appears on the White House South Lawn aside trade adviser Peter Navarro, Sen. Rob Portman, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and two autoworkers (names unknown) to hail a new electric pickup truck.
3:40 p.m. ET: President Trump appears in the Rose Garden to hail a new testing strategy for coronavirus. “I say it all the time, we are rounding the corner,” Trump said during the event. Also attending in the Rose Garden (albeit socially distanced from Trump): Vice President Mike Pence, health adviser Scott Atlas, advisers Douglas Hoelscher, Brad Smith, Ja’Ron Smith, Quellie Moorhead, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, HHS official Admiral Brett Giroir, Indian Health Service director Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, HHS official Dr. Tammy Beckham, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Texas State Senator Robert Taylor, Texas State Representative Dan Huberty, and Abbott Labs CEO Robert Ford.
Later in the day, President Trump participated in debate prep sessions, according to people familiar with the matter. Those who were present in the Map Room during the sessions included former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, presidential adviser Hope Hicks, former presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller, and White House adviser Stephen Miller.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 29: Presidential debate day
President Trump remained out of sight at the White House until departing for the first presidential debate in Cleveland.
2:30 p.m. ET: The President boards Air Force One alongside the first lady headed for Cleveland. Aboard Air Force One to Cleveland were Melania Trump, daughter in law Lara Trump, son Eric Trump, daughter Tiffany Trump, son Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign finance chairwoman Kim Guilfoyle, social media adviser Dan Scavino, senior adviser Hope Hicks, daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign manager Bill Stepien, Rep. Jim Jordan, and criminal justice reform advocate Alice Johnson, who was a guest of the President’s at the debate.
3:30 p.m. ET: Trump landed in Cleveland and was met on the tarmac by State Representative Bernadine Kent, James Whitaker and Bob Paduchik.
4:22 p.m. ET: Trump did a walkthrough of the debate stage without wearing a mask.
4:50 p.m. ET: Trump arrives to the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, where he was holding until the debate. Rudy Giuliani was spotted at the hotel before the debate.
8:30 p.m. ET: Trump and his entourage depart the hotel for the debate site at the Cleveland Clinic. Signs in the debate hall read: “Covid-19 Safety Reminders: Wear Facemask Maintain Physical Distance of 6 feet” with the 2020 presidential debate logo.
9:00 p.m. ET: Trump’s family arrives in the debate hall without wearing masks, though some photographed themselves wearing masks backstage and posted them to sisal media. Journalists reported seeing officials from the Cleveland Clinic offering members of Trump’s family masks, but none put them on.
9:05 p.m. ET: Trump debates rival Joe Biden mask-less but maintaining social distance. During the debate, he mocks Biden for frequently wearing a mask — “He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said — and suggests testing makes it possible for him to hold major campaign rallies. “I put a mask on when I think I need it. Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to, but I wear masks when needed,” he said.
11:30 p.m. ET: Trump departs Cleveland with much of the same entourage in tow, though some remained behind in Cleveland.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 30: Visit to Minnesota
After consuming headlines and television coverage of the debate for most of the morning, Trump emerged mid-afternoon to head to a fundraiser and campaign rally in Minnesota.
2:38 p.m. ET: President Trump emerges from the Oval Office and walked to gathered press to speak, without wearing a mask. Reporters wear masks at the White House.
3:05 p.m. ET: President Trump departs for Minnesota. Aboard Air Force One were US Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn; Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner, Dan Scavino and Mark Meadows.
5:08 p.m. ET: Trump arrives in Minneapolis, where he was attending a fundraiser. He was greeted on the tarmac by State Senator Paul Gazelka and his wife Maralee Gazelka, Leader Kurt Daudt, Senate candidate Jason Lewis, and National Guard officials Major General Shawn Manke, Col James Cleet, and Chief Master Sargent Mark Legvold.
6:04 p.m. ET: Trump arrives at his fundraiser at a private residence in the Minneapolis area. The attendees of the fundraiser aren’t known.
8:58 p.m. ET: Trump arrives in Duluth for a campaign rally. “On November 3rd, Minnesota will decide whether we end this pandemic, defeat the virus, and return to record prosperity. Either way, we’re returning, either way.” His rally was shorter than usual — only around 45 minutes — and he departed as soon as it ended.
10:20 p.m. ET: Trump departs Duluth on Air Force One. On the way home, officials said Hope Hicks began displaying symptoms and isolated in a separate cabin. She is seen deplaning from the rear steps.
THURSDAY, OCT 1: Fundraisers and testing
By Thursday, officials at the White House were aware that Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus, though it’s not clear exactly when her results came back. Still, Trump went ahead with his schedule, including a fundraiser in New Jersey.
Time unknown: Hicks tests positive for coronavirus. Some White House staffers who were in close proximity were notified of the positive test result today, one official said.
1:14 p.m. ET: President Trump departs the White House without speaking to reporters. He is joined on his trip to New Jersey by personal aide John McEntee and deputy press secretary Judd Deere.
2:33 p.m. ET: Trump arrived at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for a fundraiser. It’s not known who attended.
4:45 p.m. ET: Trump departs Bedminster, slightly ahead of schedule.
6:00 p.m. ET: President Trump arrives to the White House without speaking to reporters.
8:15 p.m. ET: In remarks recorded earlier in the day, Trump addresses the annual Al Smith dinner, which was convened virtually this year because of coronavirus. “I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country,” Trump said.
8:40 p.m. ET: CNN reports Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.
9:45 p.m. ET: In a phone interview on Fox News, Trump confirms Hicks tested positive, and suggests she may have contracted it from members of the military or law enforcement: “They want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. You get close and things happen.”
He says, “I just went for a test and we’ll see what happens.”
10:05 p.m. ET: The White House releases Trump’s schedule for Friday reflecting an in-person fundraiser in Washington and a campaign rally in Florida.
10:44 p.m. ET: President Trump tweets, “The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
12:54 p.m. ET: President Trump tweets: Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
1:05 a.m. ET: The White House releases a memo from the presidential physician, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, saying Trump and the first lady tested positive. “They plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” he 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.”
1:11 a.m. ET: The White House issues a new schedule for Friday showing only one event: a midday phone call on Covid support to vulnerable seniors.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)