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Trump campaign suspends all in-person events, after president tests positive for COVID

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says President Trump has mild symptoms.

Updated: October 2, 2020 - 5:36pm

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The Trump campaign said Friday afternoon that it has suspended all in-person events.

Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said in a statement that "all previously announced campaign events involving the president's participation are in the process of being moved to virtual events or are being temporarily postponed."

The announcement follows the president revealing overnight that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the disease.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Friday morning that Trump has "mild" symptoms from the coronavirus.

Meadows also told reporters at the White House that the president is "energetic" and "in good spirits."

He also confirmed that neither he nor any of the president's other top aides — including Stepien, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino — has tested positive for the virus at this time. 

However, Meadows warned about more White House infections.

"I fully expect, as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result," he said.

Trump tweeted early Friday morning that he and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.

"The American people can rest assured that we have a president that is not only on the job, will remain on the job, and I'm optimistic that he'll have a very quick and speedy recovery," Meadows said.

The announcement that Trump, 74, and his wife have the virus and will quarantine comes in the homestretch of the presidential race, throwing uncertainty into Trump's reelection effort against Democratic challenger Joe Biden with just 33 days remaining before the Nov. 3 election. 

It also followed news reports late Thursday that White House adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive — immediately raising concerns about whether the president had been exposed.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter at 12:54 a.m. ET.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately," he posted. "We will get through this TOGETHER!" 

The White House just after midnight Friday issued a revised scheduled in which Trump's planned trip to Florida later in the day was no longer on the agenda. However, the full impact of Trump testing positive and having to quarantine during his reelection effort remains unclear.

Vice President Pence has tested negative for the virus, according to news reports Friday morning. The Biden campaign has so far yet to respond to the news.

The president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, issued an official memorandum late Thursday in which he wrote that the president and his wife had tested positive for the SARS-CoV- 2 virus and were "both well at this time."

He also said he expects the president to "continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering."

On Thursday evening, prior to reports about his positive test, Trump did a live phone interview on Fox News' "Hannity" show in which he gave no indication of being sick. He acknowledged on the show that Hicks had tested positive. She reportedly felt sick on a return flight from a campaign stop in Minnesota.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has also tested positive for the novel virus.

Despite having the best medical care possible, the president's infection is a serious health issue, considering that eight out of every 10 virus-related deaths in the U.S. are among those 65 and older.

More than 7 million people in the U.S. have a confirmed case of the virus, and more than 200,000 have died as a result of the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard.

 

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