President Donald Trump announced on Twitter early today that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
On Friday, a White House official said the president was experiencing “mild symptoms.” The president and First Lady plan to quarantine inside the White House.
The two were tested for the virus after a White House aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive. Hicks traveled with the president earlier in the week.
“Rest assured, I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” Trump’s doctor wrote in a letter on October 1. Vice President Mike Pence will take on the duties of the president if Trump becomes too ill. Pence has so far tested negative for the virus.
An Unpredictable Illness
COVID-19 has infected more than 34 million people in the world, including 7 million in the United States. More than 200,000 Americans have died of the disease.
Since the coronavirus outbreak started, experts have learned more about the disease and how to treat it. But COVID-19 affects people differently. Older people are at higher risk of serious illness related to the disease. President Trump is 74 years old.
Trump is not the first world leader to have contracted the disease. British prime minister Boris Johnson, 56, became sick with the virus in March. He spent a week in the hospital and eventually returned to work. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, 65, tested positive for COVID-19 in July.