President Trump’s counselor and confidant Hope Hicks has tested positive for COVID-19, after two days of traveling with him to Ohio and Minnesota, multiple sources confirm to CBS News. President Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night that he and First Lady Melania Trump are awaiting test results.
Hicks was photographed without a mask after Air Force One landed in Cleveland for the presidential debate, and she also traveled with the president aboard Marine One and Air Force One en route to Minnesota Wednesday. Bloomberg first reported Hicks’ positive test.
Hicks tested negative for COVID-19 Wednesday morning, which is why she boarded Air Force One, according to a senior administration official. But she then developed symptoms some time during the day and took a second test that came back positive.
Mr. Trump acknowledged Thursday night in an interview with Fox News that Hicks “did test positive.”
“I just heard about that,” he said. “I just heard about that.” The president remarked that Hicks “wears a lot of masks” and added that both he and the First Lady were tested for COVID-19 Thursday night.
“So, whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said.
The president tweeted soon after that he and the First Lady “will begin our quarantine process!” while awaiting results that were expected to come later Thursday night or Friday morning.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone who comes into contact with a positive person self-isolate for 14 days. But Mr. Trump’s schedule Friday is packed, including an event with supporters at his D.C. hotel and a rally in Florida. The president very rarely wears a mask.
A White House official tells CBS News that “contact tracing has been done and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.”
People close to the president are tested regularly, but the CDC recommends mask-wearing and social distancing when possible. The White House often bucks that guidance. Top White House staff frequently do not wear masks while working together in close quarters.
Mr. Trump, at 74 years of age and with at least one underlying condition, is by definition at a higher risk for complications from the virus if he were to be exposed.
Few who work in the White House are closer to the president than Hicks, who has been by his side since the early days of his campaign, with the exception of a two-year stint at Fox Corporation in Los Angeles. Hicks. She is one of the president’s most trusted advisers.
Hicks also traveled this week with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Trump senior adviser Dan Scavino, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump campaign aide Jason Miller, Trump campaign chairman Bill Stepien and Trump counselor Derek Lyons.
Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.