Coronavirus latest news: President Trump and Melania test positive for Covid

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Jessica Carpani
·20 min read
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Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Donald Trump has announced that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for coronavirus.

A top adviser to Mr Trump tested positive for coronavirus and has symptoms - prompting the US President and his wife to quarantine ahead of their test results.

Hope Hicks travels regularly with Mr Trump on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, accompanied him to Ohio for the presidential debate on Tuesday and to Minnesota for a campaign event on Wednesday.

"Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid-19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process," Mr Trump tweeted.

"I spend a lot of time with Hope, and so does the First Lady. And she's tremendous," he said.

Two hours later he tweeted: "Tonight, @FLOTUS  and I tested positive for Covid-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

The President and his staff regularly do not wear masks. Mr Trump has denigrated people who wear them - despite health professionals saying masks are one of the key things people can do to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Mr Trump and his aides regularly get tested for coronavirus - but testing does not make someone immune.

Follow the latest updates below.

07:14 AM

Margaret Ferrier has made a ‘tremendous’ error of judgement, says Ian Blackford

The Telegraph's Scottish Political Editor Simon Johnson reports: 

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said Margaret Ferrier has made a ‘tremendous’ error of judgement and her position was not ‘tenable’.

He tells BBC Radio Scotland he only became aware of what she had done yesterday afternoon.

07:12 AM

Who would step in if Trump couldn't continue with his duties?

While there is currently no evidence that Trump is seriously ill, the positive test raises questions about what would happen if he were to become incapacitated due to illness.

The Constitution's 25th Amendment spells out the procedures under which a president can declare themselves "unable to discharge the powers and duties" of the presidency. If he were to make that call, Trump would transmit a written note to the Senate president pro tempore, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Pence would serve as acting president until Trump transmitted "a written declaration to the contrary."

The vice president and a majority of either the Cabinet or another body established by law, can also declare the president unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, in which case Pence would "immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President" until Trump could provide a written declaration to the contrary.

07:09 AM

Watch: President Trump announces he and wife Melania have tested positive for Covid-19

 Watch: President Donald Trump has coronavirus along with Melania Trump and close aide Hope Hicks

06:59 AM

World leaders react to Trump diagnosis

France's government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “This demonstrates that the virus spares no one, including those who have shown skepticism. I wish him a swift recovery.”

Meanwhile, Taiwan's presidential office said in a statement:  "President Tsai, upon receiving the news, sent her best wishes to the US government via diplomatic channels, hoping that President Trump and his wife can recover at an early date under the professional care of the medical team.”

06:54 AM

Trump diagnosis is a 'reminder that everyone is susceptible to the disease', says Robert Jenrick

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said Donald and Melania Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis is a reminder that everyone is susceptible to the disease and urged the public to follow the rules.

But he refused to condemn SNP politician Margaret Ferrier's decision to travel to London with coronavirus symptoms and then return to Glasgow after a positive test result.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: "I'm not going to comment on individual cases, it's not a question for Margaret Ferrier how she chooses to respond."

He added: "For the rest of us we know we clearly need to follow the rules and indeed follow the law and the national restrictions are very clear, and of all the national health advice one, if not the most important piece, is that if you do test positive, you must self-isolate."

Mr Jenrick refused to comment on whether he regretted supporting Dominic Cummings when he travelled to Durham with Covid-19 symptoms, saying only: "I'm not in the business of speaking about individual cases."

06:51 AM

Trump tests positive for Covid-19 - everything we know, and what it means for the US election

Read our full report on President Donald Trump testing positive for coronavirus – everything we know, and what it means for the US election here. 

Watch the President speak to Fox News about taking a test below: 

06:47 AM

Donald Trump is at higher risk of hospital admission due to his age, gender and weight

US President Donald Trump is at higher risk of hospital admission and death from Covid-19 due to his age, gender and weight.

The 74-year-old falls into the high risk group purely because he is male - with men around twice as likely to die from coronavirus as women.

However, his biggest risk factor is his age, with experts concluding that age is by far the strongest predictor of an infected person's risk of dying.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says people aged 65 to 74 have a five times higher risk of hospital admission with coronavirus compared with those aged 18 to 29, and a 90 per cent higher risk of death.

For people aged 75 to 84, the risk of needing hospital admission jumps to eight times higher, with a 220 times higher risk of death.

Mr Trump is also overweight, though his doctor, Sean Conley, told reporters in June that he is healthy.

Mr Conley reported that Mr Trump weighed 17st 6lb (110.7kg).

Reporters calculated that, at 6ft 3in, the president was just over the threshold for obesity.

06:38 AM

Strictly Come Dancing contestant HRVY has tested positive for coronavirus

Strictly Come Dancing contestant HRVY has tested positive for coronavirus.

The singer and YouTube star, 21, announced the news on social media, telling fans he does not have any symptoms and is now isolating for 10 days.

He said: "hi, wasn't gonna worry anyone and say anything but now the story's out, i have coronavirus, I'm all good, no symptoms, just isolating for the next 10 days. already super bored so prepare yourselves for my Tik toks."

A BBC spokesman confirmed a member of the Strictly Come Dancing group had tested positive.

 singer and YouTube star HRVY who has joined Strictly Come Dancing - Ian West 
singer and YouTube star HRVY who has joined Strictly Come Dancing - Ian West

They added: "We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount."

It is understood HRVY is still set to take part in the launch show, depending on a negative test result, and that he only came into contact with a handful of production crew.

They all then isolated and got tested and it is believed there was a minimal impact on production.

06:34 AM

Vice President Mike Pence sends 'love and prayers'

Vice President Mike Pence says he and his wife, Karen, are sending their "love and prayers" to President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump after the Trumps announced early Friday that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Pence says on Twitter: "We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery."

Trump's positive test came just hours after he confirmed late Thursday that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus.

The White House had no immediate comment on whether Pence had been tested after the Trumps' and Hicks' diagnoses.

06:32 AM

The US have a 'clear protocol', says Robert Jenrick

"In the U.S. they've got a very clear protocol haven't they, with the vice president, should that be necessary," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky. 

06:29 AM

Was Joe Biden far enough away to be safe?

US President Donald J. Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (R) spar during the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 September 2020 - JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 
US President Donald J. Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (R) spar during the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 September 2020 - JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

 

06:21 AM

Government wishes President Donald Trump a speedy recovery, says Robert Jenrick

The British government wishes President Donald Trump a speedy recovery after testing positive to Covid-19 but the United States has a clear succession protocol should it be needed, a British minister said on Friday.

"All of us want to send our best wishes to President Trump, the first lady and the Trump family and wish them a speedy recovery," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky.

"We know what it's like to have, in our case a prime minister who tested positive for Covid and setting aside politics we all want to see him and his wife get better soon," he said, referring to Boris Johnson who fell gravely ill after catching Covid-19 in March.

06:19 AM

Piers Morgan says those 'spewing their gleeful joy' are 'no better than the man they loathe'

Piers Morgan says those "spewing their gleeful joy" that US President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive to Covid-19 coronavirus are "no better than the man they loathe"

06:12 AM

Australia will within weeks allow New Zealanders to enter the country without quarantining

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack speaks to the media during a press conference regarding a trans-Tasman travel bubble at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 02 October 2020 - LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack speaks to the media during a press conference regarding a trans-Tasman travel bubble at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 02 October 2020 - LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Australia will within weeks allow residents of New Zealand to enter the country without having to quarantine, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said on Friday, as Canberra seeks to revive its ailing economy as Covid-19 cases begin to slow.

Australia in March closed its borders to all non-citizens and non-permanent residents to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Opening its borders for the first time to foreigners, McCormack said New Zealand citizens and residents will be allowed to travel to Australia's most populous state New South Wales and its remote Northern Territory from Oct 16.

They will not have to undergo a two-week mandatory quarantine, which is required of all Australians returning from other nations.

"This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans- Tasman bubble between the two countries," McCormack told reporters in Canberra.

New Zealand has effectively eradicated Covid-19, reducing the threat of additional infections in Australia.

While Australia has eased restrictions on its closest ally, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier on Friday those who travel to Australia would have to quarantine on their return.

She also said New Zealand would not open its borders to Australians for now.

06:07 AM

Donald Trump Junior: The next Trump president?

By constitution a US President can only remain in the White House for eight years, if he wins the November election. 

But Donald Trump has made it clear that if he has his way, the Trumps will be in office for far longer than two terms. 

The Trump children have been far more involved in political campaigning than previous Presidents children. Ivanka and her husband Jared are senior White House advisors, Eric and his wife Lara were heavily involved with the 2016 campaign and made several appearances in different states on behalf of his father, even Tiffany Trump spoke at this years Republican National Convention.

But it's Donald Trump Junior, the eldest of President Trump's children that has political aspirations that could see him running for office after his father. 

06:03 AM

The diagnosis comes just weeks before the election

The diagnosis, just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, marks a major blow for a president who has been trying desperately to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them, despite a growing nationwide death toll of more than 205,000 and 7 million confirmed infections. 

Trump's handling of the pandemic has become a major flashpoint in his race against Democrat Joe Biden, who spent much of the summer off the campaign trail and at his home in Delaware. Biden has since resumed a more active campaign schedule, but with small, socially distanced crowds because of the virus. Biden also regularly wears a mask in public, something Trump mocked him for at Tuesday night's debate.

Watch the highlights from the debate below: 

05:58 AM

Analysts react: 'It is possible that by the time we reach New York trading that markets will have calmed down'

As U.S. stock futures and the Australian dollar fell on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus, analysts react to the news. 

Yako Sera, market strategist, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust bank, Tokyo said: "We are seeing typical risk-off trades now, but as far as we know Trump is not gravely ill. It is possible that by the time we reach New York trading that markets will have calmed down.

"If Trump's symptoms are mild and he stages a quick recovery, his support could increase, which would be similar to what happened with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

"However, this does damage Trump's ability to campaign and time is running out before the election.

"Whether it's Trump or Biden, the biggest problem is uncertainty. As long as we're uncertain about who will win the election, it is difficult for markets to truly settle."

05:54 AM

Indian Prime Minister Modi wishes Trump and Melania a 'quick recovery and good health'

Indian Prime Minister Modi wishes US President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump "quick recovery and good health". 

05:47 AM

US trading slumps following news Trump has tested positive

US futures trading saw the Dow slump 1.7 percent on the news and the broader S&P 500 shed 1.6 percent, while the safe-haven yen rose against the dollar.

05:38 AM

Florida campaign trip cancelled

The White House dropped a Florida campaign trip from President Donald Trump's schedule on Friday after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Trump had been due to hold a campaign event at Sanford airport in Florida on Friday evening but his new schedule just lists a midday phone call on "Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors."

Trump's positive test follows news that Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

 US President Donald Trump with Hope Hicks  - MANDEL NGAN 
US President Donald Trump with Hope Hicks - MANDEL NGAN

Hicks travels regularly with the president on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, accompanied him to Ohio for the presidential debate on Tuesday and to Minnesota for a campaign event on Wednesday.

Trump, who is tested regularly for the virus, has kept up a rigorous travel schedule across the country in recent weeks, holding rallies with thousands of people in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, despite warnings from public health professionals against having events with large crowds.

Trump has come under sharp criticism for his response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States alone. The president has touted his management of the crisis.

05:32 AM

Sean Conley's full statement on President Trump and wife Melania testing postive for Covid-19

Full statement from Sean Conley, physician to the president:

I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.

The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our our country's greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.

05:28 AM

President Donald Trump is 'well' after testing positive for Covid-19

President Donald Trump is "well" and will continue to perform his duties "without disruption" while quarantining along with the first lady, after both tested positive for the coronavirus, the president's physician said Friday.

They "are both well at this time and they plan to remain home at the White House during their convalesence," doctor Sean Conley said in a statement.

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

05:03 AM

Zoo enjoys a baby boom during pandemic

Yuan Yuan cuddling her baby - TAIPEI ZOO HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Yuan Yuan cuddling her baby - TAIPEI ZOO HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

 Coronavirus may have caused a slump in visitor numbers at Taiwan's biggest zoo, but the resident animals didn't seem to mind.

Baby pandas and pangolins are among the star additions at Taipei Zoo, which has experienced a baby boom.

The birth of young Formosan serows, Eurasian otters, jackass penguins, koalas, marmosets and black-capped squirrel monkeys have also kept zookeepers busy. 

Read the full story here.

04:23 AM

Health officials play down fears of vaccine shortage

The public does not need to get its flu jabs until December, Matt Hancock said as health officials played down fears over shortages of vaccines.

The NHS roll-out of flu jabs is now under way, with priority given to pensioners and others with health conditions. Further roll-outs are promised for other groups in coming months.  

On Thursday, health officials said they were confident that there are sufficient vaccines for all those eligible.

READ MORE:​ No need for flu jabs before December, says Matt Hancock

04:17 AM

We will begin our quarantine process: Donald Trump

After news broke that one of his top aides had tested positive for coronavirus, Donald Trump announced that he and his wife Melania had been tested and were awaiting their results...

02:50 AM

Ministers prepare for millions of unemployed people because of pandemic

Ministers are secretly preparing for four million people to join the ranks of the unemployed because of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Therese Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said her department was preparing to support that level of unemployed people, but stressed that she "genuinely hopes" Britain does not reach that figure.

The prospect of four million unemployed far outstrips the three million unemployment rate last seen in the 1980s.

READ MORE: Ministers preparing for four million unemployed because of Covid crisis

02:47 AM

MP brought coronavirus into Parliament

Margaret Ferrier in the House of Commons on Monday during a debate on the coronavirus response - Parliament TV
Margaret Ferrier in the House of Commons on Monday during a debate on the coronavirus response - Parliament TV

An SNP MP broke Covid laws twice by bringing coronavirus into Parliament before travelling home to Scotland on a train, despite knowing she had the virus.

SNP frontbencher Margaret Ferrier was under police investigation on Thursday night and faces a potential £4,000 fine for "reckless" behaviour after testing positive for the virus on Monday.

The MP then failed to inform her party of her test result - keeping it secret for two days.

It was not until Wednesday that the party was told and was able to notify Parliamentary authorities. 

READ MORE: MP under police investigation after taking Covid to the Commons

02:13 AM

Argentina: from role model to one of the worst-hit in the world

Argentina's coronavirus death toll leapt above 20,000 on Thursday as a large number of previously untallied fatalities were added to the total, emphasising how the country has gone from regional role model to one of the worst-hit in the world.

The South American nation, which slowed the spread of the virus with a strict lockdown in March, reported 14,001 new cases to take the total confirmed infections to 765,002 - one of the 10 highest in the world.

The health ministry added 3,352 deaths, most of which were from a backlog of fatalities from the province of Buenos Aires, taking the total to 20,288 - just behind Russia.

The grains-producing nation has one of the highest positive rates in the region, with confirmed daily cases versus tests topping 50 per cent over the past week. The government has pledged to ramp up testing.

02:06 AM

Masks start to make their mark in Dutch cities

Visitors view works of art at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency
Visitors view works of art at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency

A rare sight has begun to appear in Dutch cities: people wearing masks.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the famously liberal Netherlands has held out against the strict measures imposed by its European neighbours.

But with the country gripped by a second wave of infections, the Dutch government has made an abrupt U-turn, advising people to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte this week "urgently recommended" that masks be worn in supermarkets, museums and railway stations.

The Dutch government has been widely accused of dragging its feet over the measures, long opting instead for what Mr Rutte dubbed an "intelligent lockdown" and insisting there was no scientific basis for ordering people to wear masks.

But as new infections pass 3,000 a day, and with several European countries imposing travel restrictions on people coming from the Netherlands, the government was forced to act.

01:02 AM

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