The US president and the first lady are awaiting the results of their COVID-19 tests after senior aide Hope Hicks tested positive. Trump reportedly spent substantial time in close proximity with Hicks this week.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump confirmed that senior aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus. The US President and his wife Melania Trump are now awaiting the results of their own tests.
After the interview, Trump announced on Twitter that he and Melania will "begin our quarantine process" while waiting for their results.
Hicks spent a substantial amount of time in close proximity with Trump this week, including traveling with him to a campaign rally on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, citing an administration official.
She also traveled with Trump several other days this week, including on board the presidential helicopter Marine One as well as on Air Force One.
Hicks, who serves as a counselor to Trump, is the most senior White House official to so far test positive for COVID-19.
The White House issued a statement saying that steps are taken to limit potential coronavirus exposure to the president.
After several earlier positive cases close to the president, the White House began conducting daily tests for Trump's senior aides and anyone else in close proximity with the president or vice president Mike Pence — including reporters
"The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously," White House spokesperson Judd Deere said.
The virus has killed over 200,000 people in the United States, making it the world's highest death toll. Over 7.2 million people in the US have been infected with the virus so far.
Trump has been criticized for his response to the pandemic, including playing down the threat and refusing to abide by public health guidelines — including wearing masks.
Source: Reuters/ AFP