Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: US President Trump and Melania test positive for Covid-19

PGOTO: CBC.ca

The US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19. The President made the announcement on his Twitter account at 1am Friday, Washington time. The 74 year old President was diagnosed just hours after it became public that Hope Hicks, a Trump aide who had been travelling with him on Air Force One and Marine One this week, including to the debate on Tuesday night, tested positive on Thursday morning. Ms. Hicks has already started showing symptoms.

In the US, at least 7,494,671 cases and 212,660 fatalities have been reported nationwide since February this year (as of 2pm Thai time).

An aide who was in contact with Mr. Trump late Thursday evening (President Trump’s Twitter post was at 1am Friday morning) says he seemed “normal” and did not show any symptoms. He noted that he was aware of Hicks and her condition.

The extraordinary revelation, coming 6 months into a global pandemic, a surge in US Covid-19 cases, and in the final stretch of an acrimonious reelection campaign. There has been no announcements if the President will reschedule his busy election engagement schedule, or news of his current well being following the announcement.

Here are some recent developments…

  • News that President Trump had tested positive has sent shock waves through global markets as they open this morning in the US.
  • European markets, including the FTSE 100 in the UK, DAX in Germany and CAC 40 in France, are set to open lower this morning.
  • Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman and chief of staff, said on her Twitter account that “nothing would stop the Trumps from fighting for the American people.”
  • Coronavirus hospitalisations have reached their highest levels since at least May in 9 US states, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • Nearly 20,000 members of Amazon’s US workforce have tested positive or been presumed positive for the coronavirus this year.

The diagnosis is a serious health threat to a sitting American president and, along with the other White House cases, including the recent positive infection of his close aide, puts the country’s executive in constitutional peril. Mr. Trump is 74 years old which places him, statistically, into the high risk category for potential serious complications from the virus. Covid 19 has now killed 212,660 Americans and more than 1 million people worldwide. Melania Trump is 50 years old.

“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 shortly before 1 am Friday.”

President Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, US time, returning to the White House in Washington following a fundraising trip to New Jersey. Reporters say he did not appear unwell, despite not speaking to the media as he walked into his residence.

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