Trump tests positive for COVID-19 along with first lady Melania, president and White House doctor say


President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, the president tweeted early Friday morning. It was an earth-shattering announcement mere weeks from Election Day

Mr. Trump said he and the first lady would begin quarantining immediately. 

The first lady tweeted after the positive tests, saying she and the president were “feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements.” 

Mr. Trump is 74 years old and has at least one underlying condition, placing him at a higher risk for complications, according to Centers for Disease Control guidance, but he was said to be feeling well. 

The White House physician issued a memo confirming the positive tests, and saying the president and first lady were doing well and planned to remain at home.

“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,” wrote Sean Conley, physician to the president. 

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A senior White House official told CBS News that Mr. Trump was “in good spirits,” and noted that catching a COVID-19 infection “early helps to mitigate the situation.” 

The official said it was “beneficial” that there have not been many people around the president, for contract tracing purposes. 

However, Mr. Trump met supporters in person earlier on Thursday at a fundraising event, and held a rally with supporters in Minnesota on Wednesday night. On Monday he was in Cleveland, Ohio, for the first presidential debate. 

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When asked if there were others quarantining at the White House after the president and first lady’s positive tests, a senior White House official told CBS News that “contact tracing has been done and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.” 

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted about an hour after Mr. Trump’s announcement, saying that he and second lady Karen Pence, “send their love and prayers” to the president and first lady.

“We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania,” Pence wrote. 

News of the Trumps’ positive tests came just hours after it was reported that the president’s top aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus.  White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested negative for the virus, a senior White House official told CBS News.  

“The strength of the entire country is with President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a tweet, adding that Mr. Trump would “continue to put the People first!”

The president was scheduled to campaign in Florida on Friday and then across the western United States next week, but all of his events have been canceled except one — he was still expected to host a phone call on COVID-19 support for vulnerable seniors later on Friday.  

The positive diagnosis could not come at a worse time for Mr. Trump politically, only a month from the election and two weeks from the next scheduled presidential debate against former Vice President Joe Biden. 

CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang reported that administration officials had expressed surprise for weeks that the virus hadn’t been detected among White House officials, given Mr. Trump’s own unenthusiastic embrace of measures recommended by senior health officials.

The president has often flouting his own administration’s guidelines on social distancing, mask-wearing and not gathering in large groups. 

Jiang said that while there was a “blip in time” when masks were mandated for White House staff if they were up and moving around the building, those measures have since “faded away.” 

That’s of particular concern, Jiang noted, given that the list of people who have come into close personal contact with the president and first lady in recent days “is long, and it is filled with some of the most important people in the Trump administration.”

Fin Gomez, Tucker Reals and Caroline Linton contributed to this report. 

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