Donald and Melania Trump have been diagnosed with COVID-19

The president announced in a tweet last night that he and the first lady were diagnosed with COVID-19 and were beginning the quarantine process.


Sarah Silbiger

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 25: U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart from the White House in Washington, DC for a Memorial Day ceremony at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, on May 25, 2020. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

After mocking presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing masks during the campaign at the presidential debate on Tuesday and repeatedly downplaying the severity of the global pandemic, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

Vice President Mike Pence, presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi were all tested after receiving the news, and all subsequently received negative results.

The announcement was made in an early morning tweet from the president, who noted that he and Melania would be beginning the quarantine process immediately.

Since his diagnosis, Trump has received an “antibody cocktail” treatment and has been taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following a low-grade fever, fatigue, and reported trouble breathing. He is expected to stay at Walter Reed for the next few days “out of an abundance of caution,” according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Since his admission to Walter Reed, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that Trump’s vital signs were “very concerning” and that they are still not clear on a path to full recovery for the president. This message is contradictory to that given by Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, who said that the president was doing “very well” in a press briefing.

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,” said Meadows.

While not confirmed, it is possible that Trump and the First Lady contracted the virus from Hope Hicks, Trump’s former White House Communications Director and close advisor, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. According to the New York Times, Hicks is the closest known person to the president to have been diagnosed with the virus, causing concern among other White House aides.

Hicks and Trump’s diagnosis has not only sent concern throughout the White House but through other political bodies as well. Hicks accompanied Trump to the presidential debate on Tuesday, at which many of Trump’s family members, including Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric, and Tiffany Trump, did not wear masks.

Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. before the first presidential debate on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. before the first presidential debate on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Although the severity of Trump’s condition is unknown, the possibility of it being critical is becoming increasingly likely. With the president being seventy-four he is 90 times more likely to die from the disease than his younger counterparts and much more likely to suffer from severe complications, according to a report from BBC.

If Trump were to die from the virus, Vice President Pence would take power, followed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and then pro tempore of the Senate Chuck Grassley. Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security Secretary, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that those within the presidential line of succession, from the Vice President to the cabinet members, should quarantine as a precaution.