President Donald Trump announced early Friday morning that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump, 74, has long sought to downplay the novel coronavirus in the last seven months, contending at times that the highly contagious respiratory illness is a political "hoax" and just last week saying that it "affects virtually nobody."
Including the president, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 7.3 million people in the U.S. and has killed at least 207,699, according to a New York Times tracker.
"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," Trump tweeted. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"
White House doctor Sean Conley went on to clarify over the weekend that Trump was first diagnosed Thursday evening.
Here's everything we know so far. This story will be updated.
What Symptoms Has Trump Shown?
Although White House doctor Sean Conley initially said on Friday that the first couple planned on remaining at home as they recovered from COVID-19, later that day Trump was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center out of an "abundance of caution."
"President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday afternoon.
Conley offered more details about the president's symptoms the following day.
During a Saturday press conference, he said Trump had been fever-free for 24 hours and that his other symptoms, which included fatigue "are now resolving and improving." Conley also noted that the president was not currently receiving oxygen, although he evaded specific questions about Trump’s fever or whether he had ever received supplemental oxygen.
However, a source familiar with the president's health offered conflicting information. "The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care," the source said, according to a White House pool report. "We're still not on a clear path to recovery."
Trump was last seen by reporters on Friday as he departed the White House for Walter Reed hospital and was seen wearing a mask and giving reporters a thumbs-up sign.
What Led to Trump’s Positive Test?
Trump's positive result came after the news one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.
Hicks, a former 31-year-old public relations consultant, had reportedly been in the small group of confidants helping the president prepare for Tuesday's debate. She also traveled with Trump on Air Force One to-and-from Minnesota on Wednesday evening for a campaign rally.
Several thousands showed up to the president's outdoor rally, while pool reporters traveling with Trump noted "most" in the crowd did not wear masks. The president also met with local state lawmakers during private fundraising events in the state.
"It’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you, they want to hug and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them, you get close and things happen," Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, saying during the interview that he was waiting for the results of his own test after being exposed to the virus.
"I was surprised to hear with Hope but she’s a very warm person with them and she knows there is a risk," he added.
At least eight people, including the president, have now tested positive after attending the White House SCOTUS nomination ceremony last week. Hicks was not among them.
Is Trump Under Quarantine?
After confirming Hick's diagnosis on Thursday, the president said that while he was awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test both he and the first lady would be quarantining at the White House.
Trump has since been taken to the hospital, while his wife remains at home.
What treatment has Trump received?
On Friday, Trump received an 8-gram dose of an experiential treatment from pharmaceutical company Regeneron. The treatment — which is not yet approved, and is still undergoing human trials — uses lab-engineered antibodies to target COVID-19 and to hopefully stop the virus from spreading in the body.
It was also revealed that Trump is taking three supplements: zinc, melatonin and vitamin D; and two over-the-counter medications: famotidine, commonly known as Pepcid, and a daily aspirin.
Later on Friday night, after Trump had been transported to the hospital for “further monitoring, Conley said that they had been given a dose of Remdesivir — another drug which researchers hope will help coronavirus patients recover faster, and is also still undergoing clinical trials. The following day, the physician said that they plan to continue carrying out a five-day treatment plan of Remdesivir.
Can Trump Continue His Duties As President?
Yes, according to Conley, the White House doctor. Trump can continue his duties as president "without disruption," the physician wrote in the memo released Friday morning.
"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," Conley added.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.
Source: Read Full Article