The United States woke up to the stunning news that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. It’s a disease that has claimed more than 207,000 lives in the country as of October 2.
The president announced the results on Twitter just after midnight on Friday.
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
White House physician Sean Conley also released a letter confirming the positive test, which you can read below. Conley famously administered the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to Trump at the president’s insistence as a prophylactic to prevent Covid-19. There is little evidence for the efficacy of the drug in treating or preventing the disease, but Trump promoted it as a breakthrough and pressured the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant emergency approval for the drug. The FDA later revoked its approval.
The president’s positive SARS-CoV-2 test result has launched a wave of questions about Trump’s abilities to do his job, but Conley wrote that he expects no disruptions.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” he wrote.
October 01, 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR: KAYLEIGH MCENANY, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
FROM: SEAN P. CONLEY, DO, FACEP, PHYSICIAN TO THE PRESIDENT, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY
SUBJECT: President Donald J. Trump & First Lady Melania Trump’s COVID-19 Tests
I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they 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.
Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.