President Trump and First Lady Melania Test Positive for the Coronavirus


WASHINGTON—President Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19, he tweeted, putting the U.S. into an unprecedented situation that will upend the final month of the 2020 campaign.

His announcement came hours after confirming that Hope Hicks, a top adviser who traveled with him earlier this week, had tested positive for the virus.

“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo released by the White House early Friday that the president and first lady were both “well at this time” and planned to remain at the White House while they recovered. He said the White House medical team would “maintain a vigilant watch.”

The president’s contraction of a virus that has infected nearly 7.3 million people in the U.S. means he will need to cancel in-person events in the coming weeks, possibly including the next debate against Democrat Joe Biden on Oct. 15 in Miami.

The president’s age of 74 makes him particularly vulnerable to the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people in their 60s and 70s are “at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.”

Shortly after the president said he had tested positive, the White House issued an updated schedule for Friday, which consisted only of “a phone call on Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors.” He had previously been scheduled to attend an indoor fundraiser at his hotel in Washington and a campaign rally in Florida.

Dr. Conley said he expected the president to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

Early Friday, Mrs. Trump tweeted that she and the president were “feeling good” and she had postponed “all upcoming engagements.”

“We will all get through this together,” she said.

Vice President Mike Pence wished the president and first lady well. On Twitter, he wrote: “Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.”

Hours earlier, Mr. Trump tweeted that he and the first lady were quarantining while awaiting their test results, after Ms. Hicks tested positive for Covid-19. Ms. Hicks traveled with the president on Air Force One to and from the debate in Cleveland on Tuesday. She also traveled with Mr. Trump on Air Force One to and from a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Ms. Hicks wasn’t tested Wednesday evening, a person familiar with the matter said. She began showing minor symptoms and quarantined during the return flight from Minnesota on Wednesday out of an abundance of caution, the person said. She tested positive Thursday.

Trump administration adviser Hope Hicks and colleagues on Wednesday.


Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Mr. Trump traveled to Bedminster, N.J., on Thursday for a fundraiser and roundtable with supporters. It wasn’t immediately clear whether those he met with on Thursday would need to quarantine.

The president’s positive test comes after several members of his orbit became infected with the virus, most recently Ms. Hicks. National security adviser Robert O’Brien and Katie Miller, the vice president’s press secretary, previously tested positive and have since recovered. Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., also tested positive. Ms. Guilfoyle is also a Trump campaign senior adviser.

Mr. Trump has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. For months, he refused to wear a mask in public. He has repeatedly predicted the virus would disappear and earlier this week said the country was “rounding the corner” on the pandemic. He has also expressed skepticism about the opinions of health experts in his administration, saying that in “many cases” he feels he knows better than them.

The president also resumed campaign rallies—including indoor events—even as health officials urged Americans not to gather in crowded indoor spaces. Mask-wearing is rare at his rallies. He has criticized Mr. Biden for wearing a mask, as recently as in Tuesday’s debate.

“He could be speaking 200 feet away from it, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Trump said.

Earlier this year, the president said he began taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting the virus. It isn’t a proven treatment.

If the president’s condition were to worsen, he could temporarily transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence under the 25th amendment. That has only happened three times in U.S. history, when former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush underwent colonoscopies.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at and Catherine Lucey at

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