|The New York Times reports:|
October 2, 2020
|Good morning. President Trump and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus. She says they are “feeling good,” but the news adds new chaos to the campaign.|
The Trumps test positive
President Trump and his wife, Melania, have tested positive for the coronavirus, he announced in a tweet shortly before 1 a.m. Eastern today. Afterward, she added that they were “feeling good.” The White House did not say whether they were experiencing symptoms.
The diagnosis is the latest piece of stunning news in a year that has been full of them. It creates uncertainty about the president’s health and his ability to campaign 32 days before Election Day, when voting has already begun in some states.
It is unclear how the couple contracted the virus. One possibility is that they did so from Hope Hicks, a close Trump adviser who traveled on Air Force One with him on Wednesday and began feeling sick that day. She tested positive Thursday.
Joe Biden’s campaign has made no announcement about his condition. Biden appeared on an indoor stage with Trump for 90 minutes, at Tuesday’s debate. They stood more than six feet apart and, because of the pandemic, did not shake hands before or after the debate.
Some experts thought Biden was unlikely to have contracted the virus, given the timeline and his distance from Trump. Others were less confident of that.
The White House did not initially announce that Hicks had tested positive. (Bloomberg News reported it.) Instead, the White House appeared to put other staff members and visitors at risk of the virus by continuing to operate as normal. Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary, who had also been on the plane with Hicks, held a briefing yesterday with reporters without mentioning it or wearing a mask.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the risk of the virus and behaved in ways that public health experts have said risked spreading the virus. He has refused to wear a mask in public and questioned its effectiveness. He has held crowded rallies where attendees did not wear masks. Many of his staff members did not wear them at Tuesday’s debate, even after medical personnel there asked them do so.
The Trumps will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, and his doctor said he could carry out his duties “without disruption.” But his campaign schedule will almost certainly be canceled, at least for the immediate future. The status of the next presidential debate, a town hall scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, is unclear.
Expressions of concern and good wishes for the Trumps’ speedy recovery came from leaders in Russia, India, Britain and other countries.
Stocks in Europe and Asia have fallen modestly today.
Nicholas Kristof, Times Opinion columnist: “Best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Whatever one thinks of his policies, I hope we can be civil, avoid snark, seek lessons and wish them both a swift recovery.”
Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News: “Not since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981 has there been so clear a threat to the health of an American President. A serious moment for the country.”
Ashish Jha, dean, Brown University School of Public Health: “This is a nightmare. COVID19 is a serious infection, especially for someone who is older like Mr. Trump. I can’t believe he was infected. This is a total failure by [the White House] team to protect the President.”
Peter Nicholas, The Atlantic: “In my reporting trip to the White House in August, I saw aides at their desks without masks, aides talking to one another in small offices without masks. It did not have the look of a White House that was worried about transmission of the virus.”
The Times will publish the latest updates, all day, here. A photo essay tracks the president’s movements this week.