After a late night tweet teased it, the news is now widely confirmed. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative again for COVID today, per his spokesman, and the White House.
"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," Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said in a statement, adding: "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."
Vladimir Putin sent President Trump a telegram wishing him and Melania Trump "a speedy recovery and expressing sincere support at this difficult moment."
"I am sure that your inherent vitality, vigor and optimism will help you overcome the dangerous virus," Putin wrote to Mr. Trump, says the Kremlin.
"The president's result came after he spent months playing down the severity of the outbreak that has killed more than 207,000 in the United States and hours after insisting that 'the end of the pandemic is in sight," reports the NYT:
The dramatic disclosure came in a Twitter message just before 1 a.m. after a suspenseful evening following reports that Mr. Trump's close adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive. In her own tweet about 30 minutes later, Mrs. Trump wrote that the first couple were "feeling good," but the White House did not say whether they were experiencing symptoms. The president's physician said he could carry out his duties "without disruption" from the Executive Mansion.
Mr. Trump's positive test result posed immediate challenges for the future of his campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, with barely a month until Election Day. Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will lose much of his remaining time on the campaign trail. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all.
The White House did not say how long Mr. Trump would have to remain isolated, but it canceled his plans to fly to Florida for a campaign rally on Friday, stripping his public schedule for the day of everything except a midday telephone call "on Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors." Appearances at rallies in Wisconsin on Saturday and in Arizona on Monday also appear sure to be scrapped, and the next debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, was left up in the air.