“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Donald Trump tweeted before 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
COVID-19, the pandemic affecting American lives since March, finally proved powerful enough to reach the President of the United States. The Trump administration has underestimated the virus’ seriousness for several months now, so some Americans were not surprised to hear that their president had gotten sick.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, only six days before testing positive, Trump held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to formally announce Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court Justice nominee in replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A mostly unmasked audience gathered without following social distancing protocols.
According to NPR, at least six guests tested positive for coronavirus after the event, not including the President and First Lady.
Trump participated in the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday, Sept. 29. Neither the Trump family nor other guests of the president wore masks inside the debate venue.
Despite the Trump family’s possible exposure to COVID at the garden ceremony, Joe Biden and his family tested negative after the debate.
The next day, Trump flew into Minnesota to host a campaign fundraiser and outdoor rally. His senior advisor Hope Hicks later began to feel ill and isolated herself on the returning flight to Washington.
On Thursday, Hicks tested positive for coronavirus; Trump, unaware of the positive test, hosted an indoor New Jersey rally at which few audience members wore masks.
After being alerted of Hicks’ positive test, Trump and his wife immediately got tested and confirmed their positive results via Twitter early on Friday morning.
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, reported that the president initially experienced mild symptoms, such as congestion and a low-grade fever. Melania Trump was also moderately symptomatic.
While still at the White House, Trump received an experimental antibody cocktail that had previously proven effective for hospitalized patients. The treatment had purportedly cured patients by tackling the virus.
Friday evening, Trump was quickly hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his symptoms presumably worsened. The First Lady continued quarantining at the White House.
Dr. Sean Conley and a team of Walter Reed doctors briefed the nation on live television the following morning. Conley declined to state whether Trump had received supplemental oxygen since arriving at the hospital and gave exclusively optimistic reports, whereas a White House official—deemed to be Meadows—told a different story.
Meadows told reporters, “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.”
On Monday, Trump was released from Walter Reed at 6:30p.m. He reportedly completed his medical treatment at the White House, where his symptoms improved.
Well-known Former Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie both tested positive as well after coming into contact with President Trump.
Nationwide speculation remains about where the White House spread originated. More importantly, it is imperative to recognize COVID’s high transmissibility in unmasked, close gatherings.
Although most sources confirm that President Trump overcame COVID quickly, there are discrepancies between reports that raise questions about the reality of his recovery process.
For instance, Melania Trump stayed isolated in the White House and was never hospitalized, even for safety measures or a faster recovery.
Trump’s diagnosis reinforced the forewarned dangers and highly contagious spread of COVID-19. If the President himself contracted the virus despite supposed protective measures, anyone can get it upon exposure. Mask-wearing and social distancing conjunctively help slow the spread, so Americans should do their part to reverse the second wave of COVID this fall.