DOCTOR: PRESIDENT WILL WORK WHILE IN QUARANTINE Big blow to last leg of his re-election campaign, which was to be filled with rallies.
President Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19, upending the already tense US election, but was described by his doctor yesterday as feeling “well” and ready to perform his duties while quarantining.
Trump, 74, first announced on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump, 50, had tested positive for the virus. “We will get through this TOGETHER!” he wrote.
The extraordinary setback for Trump had immediate political consequences just 31 days before polling day , forcing him to cancel campaign trips and adding new volatility to a contest already steeped in tension.
Trump’s challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, is well ahead within the polls and has made criticism of the Republican’s handling of the coronavirus – and frequent downplaying of the pandemic’s seriousness – a key issue.
Trump, in response, has been depending on an evermore aggressive schedule of campaign rallies round the country. The events, which he said proved his true political strength, compile thousands of individuals , often without masks and sometimes in contravention of local rules.
That strategy is now unsure , with the White House immediately cancelling a planned campaign rally within the crucial swing state of Florida later yesterday.
It looked certain that Trump would need to cancel a visit scheduled for this weekend in Wisconsin, another battleground. He had also been expected to travel frequently next week, including to western states.
A second televised debate with Biden is scheduled for 15 October.
Technically obese and in his 70s, Trump is during a higher-risk category for coronavirus patients.
Trump’s official physician, Sean Conley, said during a statement the president and his wife “are both well at this time”.
“They decide to remain home at the White House during their convalescence,” he said. However, “I expect the president to continue completing his duties without disruption while recovering.”
The shock news came right after one among Trump’s closest advisers, Hope Hicks, was reported on Thursday to possess the virus.
Hicks, 31, travelled with Trump to Cleveland for his first debate with Biden on Tuesday. She was with him again for a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
With Hicks sharing Trump’s Air Force One plane and therefore the even more cramped confines of the Marine One helicopter, speculation immediately erupted that Trump and possibly many others in his entourage were exposed.
Despite Hicks’ diagnosis, Trump took another Air Force One trip on Thursday to satisfy donors in New Jersey. it had been only late on Thursday that he confirmed media reports about Hicks. –