Trump Tests Positive For COVID-19
After calling the virus a "hoax" and refusing to wear a mask, Trump has tweeted that he and First Lady Melania have tested positive for COVID-19.
On Thursday evening, after months of downplaying the virus, days after mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask, and just a few hours after his pre-recorded comment that "the end of the pandemic is in sight" played at a fundraiser dinner, President Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
At 74 and obese, Trump's age and weight put him in the highest risk category for serious complications from the virus, which has so far killed over 200,000 Americans and more than 1 million people around the world.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
The bombshell announcement came on the heels of an earlier tweet announcing that Hope Hicks, a top Trump aide, had tested positive for the virus. Trump and many of his aides tend not to practice preventative measures like social distancing or wearing masks.
On Twitter, there is speculation that the announcement may be a ploy to distract from the controversy over Trump telling militant hate group the Proud Boys to "stand by" and leaked tapes in which Melania says "who gives a fuck about Christmas stuff," or even to avoid another debate.
In secretly recorded audio, Melania Trump says about reporters asking her about kids separated at border: "Give me a fucking break." She assails the "liberal media," says she doesn't want to do a story on Fox, and adds, "Who gives a fuck about Christmas stuff and decorations?" pic.twitter.com/Ia2U2WmzN5— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 2, 2020
Others were quick to point out that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, both right-wing populists, saw their popularity rates rise dramatically after they tested positive for the virus and that, ahead of the election, Trump may be hoping for the same.
In a memo, Trump's physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley wrote, "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."