Politics

Trump says he’ll go into quarantine after high aide Hope Hicks exams constructive for coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One from Marine One as he leaves Washington on a campaign trip to New Jersey at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, United States, October 1, 2020.

Leah Millis | Reuters

President Donald Trump said late Thursday evening that he and the first lady would initiate a quarantine process after top advisor Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.

"The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime we will begin our quarantine process!" Trump tweeted after previously suggesting he could be quarantined.

Trump's tweet came minutes after the White House announced its schedule for Friday, which includes meetings, a round table of supporters, and an evening campaign rally in Florida. The White House made no comment on whether the president's quarantine would result in events being canceled.

After NBC News and other outlets reported Hicks 'positive test, Trump confirmed it in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday night. He also said that he and First Lady Melania Trump had just been tested and were waiting for results to come either Thursday night or Friday.

"She tested positive. She's a hard worker, a lot of masks, she wears a lot of masks. She tested positive. I just took the test, we'll see," said Trump. "We spend a lot of time, the first lady has just done a test. We don't know whether we are in quarantine or whether we have."

He added, "We'll see what happens. Who knows?"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines state that people should stay home and be quarantined if they have been exposed to the virus. The agency says people should be quarantined for 14 days. Two weeks from Thursday, October 15, is the date of the second presidential debate between Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks.

Getty Images

Hicks, who is known to spend a lot of time with Trump, had traveled to Cleveland with the president for the debate on Tuesday night. She was seen not wearing a mask.

Trump, 74, rarely wears a mask himself and has made fun of Biden, 77, for often wearing face coverings.

The Trump campaign referred questions to the White House. A White House spokesman issued a statement on the government's Covid-19 protocols.

"The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who stands up for him and the American people very seriously," said spokesman Judd Deere in a statement. "White House operations are working with the President's Doctor and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices to address both complex and complex COVID-19 exposure limit as much as possible on the President's travels. "

Hicks's positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News. Bloomberg also reported that Hicks had traveled with Trump to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday night. The New York Times reported that the White House knew of Hick's condition Wednesday night and that she is under quarantine.

NBC News reported that although Hicks tested negative Wednesday morning and showed no symptoms prior to the Minnesota trip, she showed mild symptoms on Wednesday night. On the way back from the campaign event, she quarantined Air Force One. Hicks received her positive results on Thursday morning.

Trump made a brief donation stop in New Jersey on Thursday.

The latest revelations come as coronavirus cases in the United States hit nearly 7.23 million, according to a record by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, the virus has infected around 34 million and killed more than 1 million people. At least 206,971 have died in the United States.

Hicks, 31, is among the highest ranking people in Trump's orbit who have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

In July, Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien tested positive for the coronavirus. At the time, the White House said O & # 39; Brien had "mild symptoms" and was "isolating himself and working from a safe off-site location".

"There is no risk of exposure to the President or Vice President. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted," the White House said in a July statement.

Other administrative officials were previously diagnosed with the coronavirus.

In May, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Miller tested positive for Covid-19, as did a personal valet for Trump who is responsible for serving the President his meals. Kim Guilfoyle, a top Trump campaign character and friend of Donald Trump Jr., had also tested positive and recovered.

Hicks, one of Trump's favorite assistants and former White House communications director, rejoined the administration earlier this year to work as an assistant to Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor. In between her stays at the White House, she landed several lucrative appearances, including a starring role at Fox News parent company Fox Corp.

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