President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to confirm that he and Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday morning at 1:28 AM (EST), after numerous reports of President Trump blatantly disregarding the severity of COVID-19.
Earlier this evening, Trump confirmed that Hope Hicks, a close friend to the President, had tested positive for COVID-19, leading many to speculate that Trump himself would be at risk due to his close contact with Hicks in recent days.
Dr. Sean Conley, White House Physician, has penned a statement in response to President Trump’s diagnosis. In his statement, Conley writes, “This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 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. The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. 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.”
Shortly after Trump’s announcement, ‘#TrumpHasCovid’ began trending on twitter, reaching the number one trending topic on the platform.
Many users on the platform have expressed their content for the President’s diagnosis, seeing that his inaction on the pandemic has caused many within the nation to be dissatisfied. To recap, approx 208,000 people have died due to COVID-19, according to a New York Times report.
In the pandemic’s initial stages, Trump underestimated physicians’ cries for more resources. ““I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’” said Trump on March 27th at a coronavirus briefing. One month later, death tolls surpassed 50,000 and approximately 26 million Americans filed for unemployment.
Trump has publicly disagreed with health officials from his own administration. One reporter questioned Trump two weeks ago (September 16th) at a public press conference, “[The head of the CDC] said that the vaccine for the general public wouldn’t be available until next summer or maybe even early fall. Are you comfortable with that timeline?” Trump responded, “I think he made a mistake when he said that. That’s just incorrect information.”
Cardi B, rapper and known critic of Republican politicians, responded to the situation by tweeting, “”BET YOU WANNA” wear a mask now”. The tweet is a reference to her latest pop collaboration with K-POP group BLACKPINK, as well as a jab at Trump for mocking Joe Biden about wearing masks at the last presidential debate.
It remains to be seen if Trump will be following proper protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (e.g. wearing a mask, social distancing).