As Americans lost family, friends, jobs, and more during the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump was largely aware of the harsh reality. That changed on Friday when Trump announced that he and his wife Melania had signed COVID-19.
Trump made the announcement shortly after 1 a.m. Friday after downplaying the virus, its effects and the turmoil it has caused Americans for months.
Tonight @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will start the quarantine and recovery process immediately. We'll get through this TOGETHER!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Despite the president's optimism, the news created instability just 32 days before the presidential election. The stock market has made a leap in the news. White House staff have described a sense of panic as they worry about who else caught the virus. Trump, 74 years old and obese, is in the highest risk category for serious complications.
The President is the third world leader to contract the virus, joining British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Johnson ended up in intensive care while fighting off the disease.
Trump has mild symptoms, according to CNN. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen tested negative for the virus, but RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel tested positive. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who shared a stage with Trump during Tuesday's presidential debate, will be tested Friday morning. Biden wished the president a speedy recovery on Twitter.
Trump's close advisor, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the virus on Thursday. That didn't stop Trump from sticking to his schedule. After Hicks tested positive, the Washington Post reported that he and his entourage flew to New Jersey to raise funds at one of his golf clubs.
Hours before the president announced he was infected with the virus, he announced to a virtual audience that the virus was going to end in America.
"I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight and next year will be one of the greatest years in our country's history," Trump said at the Al Smith Dinner, which was practically convened this year because of the pandemic.
Trump scrapped his additional plans on Thursday, including a fundraiser in Washington and a campaign event in Florida. Trump also has to postpone most of his events for at least a week.