President Trump and Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at a White House event on Sept. 26, 2020. (White House photo)

President Trump and First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19 After Close Aide Falls Ill

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 after one of Trump’s closest aides fell ill with the virus.

Hope Hicks, counselor to Trump and former White House communications director, had traveled in the president’s entourage to the first presidential debate Tuesday night in Cleveland, and accompanied him to a campaign rally Wednesday in Minnesota. The 31-year-old reportedly began suffering COVID symptoms Wednesday and is quarantined at her Washington home.

White House physician Sean Conley issued a memo late Thursday confirming that the Trumps had tested positive and “plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

“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,” Conley said. He said both Trumps were “well at this time” and he expected the president “to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

The incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to two weeks. Hicks was also in close proximity to other top White House staffers who were notified of her positive test result. She was filmed Wednesday walking to Marine One with Stephen Miller, Dan Scavino and Jared Kushner; none of them wore masks.

The White House did not release news of Hicks’ illness, but confirmed the news after it leaked to reporters on Thursday evening. The news of the Trumps’ test results followed.

Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.

“As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” Melania Trump tweeted.

The White House released an updated press schedule for Friday stating that the president would hold a midday call on “COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.” The Trump campaign canceled the president’s rally in Sanford, Fla., scheduled for Friday.

The administration has not released information on tests for others in the president’s circle or notifications to congressional officials who were in the president’s orbit within the past several days; on Saturday, Trump announced his Supreme Court pick at the White House in an event where few wore masks or social distanced.

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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