As Americans lost family, friends, jobs, and more during the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has largely been oblivious to the harsh reality. That changed Friday when Trump reveled that he and his wife, Melania, have contracted COVID-19.
Trump made the announcement shortly after 1a.m. Friday after downplaying the virus, its effects, and the turmoil it has caused Americans for months.
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
Despite the president’s optimism, the news has created instability just 32 days before the presidential election. The stock market has taken a dive over the news. White House aides have described a sense of panic as they worry about who else has contracted the virus. Trump, who is 74 and obese, is within the highest risk category for serious complications.
The president becomes the third world leader to contract the virus, joining Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil. Johnson ended up in intensive care while he fought off the illness.
According to CNN, Trump is experiencing mild symptoms. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have tested negative for the virus, but RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel tested positive. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who shared a stage with Trump during Tuesday’s presidential debate, will be tested Friday morning. Biden wished the president a speedy recovery on Twitter.
Trump’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus Thursday. That didn’t stop Trump from maintaining his schedule. After Hicks tested positive, The Washington Post reported he and his entourage flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser at one of his golf clubs.
Hours before the president announced he contracted the virus, he told a virtual audience the virus was coming to an end in America.