Trump undergoes COVID-19 test as close aide tests positive

Washington DC, Oct 1 (efe-epa).- United States president Donald Trump has undergone a test for COVID-19 as one of his closest advisers was confirmed to have contracted the virus Thursday.

“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process,” he added.

Hicks, 31, traveled with Trump on Tuesday to Cleveland for the presidential debate and on Wednesday in the Air Force One presidential plane to Minnesota, where the president had a campaign rally. They also traveled together to Pennsylvania for a rally on Saturday.

Hicks was seen without a mask at various points during these trips, as was Trump, who does not wear one in public.

A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, said in a statement not directly referring to Hicks’ positive test that Trump “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”

On Tuesday at the presidential debate, Trump mocked Democratic nominee Joe Biden for wearing a mask, saying: “I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask.”

Trump’s campaign has a rally in Sanford, Florida scheduled for Friday night, and two rallies in Wisconsin on Saturday, which are now in doubt. The next presidential debate with Biden is on Oct. 15, which also falls within the two-week quarantine period.

Hicks is the closest person to the US president and highest White House official to test positive for the novel coronavirus to date, although several other officials in the White House have been infected before, including Katie Miller, the spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence.

Hicks was the spokesperson for Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and the president came to power, she joined the White House where she was communications director, which she left in 2018.

In February, however, Trump brought her back to his team, this time as an advisor.

The United States is the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the world with 7,276,938 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 207,771 deaths, according to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University. EFE-EPA


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