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Trump tests positive for Covid-19

2020-10-02 HKT 11:59
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  • President Trump said he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19, and would be quarantining. File photo: Reuters
    President Trump said he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19, and would be quarantining. File photo: Reuters
  • Hope Hicks, an advisor to US President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One to depart Washington with the president and other staff. File photo: Reuters
    Hope Hicks, an advisor to US President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One to depart Washington with the president and other staff. File photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid-19 along with First Lady Melania Trump but is "well" and will continue to perform his duties while quarantined at the White House, his doctor said on Friday.

Trump, who first announced the news of his positive test shortly before on Twitter, wrote: "We will get through this TOGETHER!"

The White House cancelled his planned campaign rally in the crucial swing state of Florida on Friday.

Just 32 days before the November 3 election against Democrat Joe Biden and behind in the polls, it also looked certain that Trump would have to cancel a slew of other trips scheduled for this weekend and next week.

Trump's official physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement that the president and his wife "are both well at this time and they plan to remain home at the White House during their convalescence."

Conley said: "I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering."

The shock news came right after one of Trump's closest advisors, Hope Hicks, was reported to have come down with the virus.

Hicks travelled with Trump to Cleveland for his first debate with Biden on Tuesday. She was with him again for a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

With Hicks sharing Trump's Air Force One plane and the even more cramped confines of the Marine One helicopter, speculation immediately erupted that Trump and possibly many others in his close entourage were exposed.

Trump says the United States has put behind the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and he rarely wears a mask, noting that he receives frequent testing.

However, his own health experts have often given less rosy assessments of the state of the pandemic in the world's richest country.

And Trump has been sharply criticised for holding large rallies where few supporters wear masks. He himself has given mixed signals to the public on the need for wearing masks at all.

White House spokesman Judd Deere earlier said "the president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously."

Deere said the White House takes care to follow procedures "for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the president is travelling." (AFP)
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Last updated: 2020-10-02 HKT 14:00