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Trump and wife Melania test positive for COVID-19

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U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus along with first lady Melania.

In a tweet he said, "we will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately."

The announcement came shortly after news broke late on Thursday that Hope Hicks, one of his top advisors, had also tested positive.

The White House's physician says the president and first lady are both well at the moment, and plan to remain at home.

Trump talked about being tested just that day, when Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity asked him about Hicks:

"She wears masks a lot. But she tested positive. Then I just went out with a test. I'll see what -- you know -- because we spent a lot of time and the first lady just went out with a test also. So whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don't know. You know, it's very hard when you're with soldiers, when you're with airmen -- we are with the Marines and with the police officers. I'm with them so much. And when they come over me, it's very hard to say, stay back, stay back. You know, it's a tough kind of a situation."

In addition to members of the public he may have come into contact with, others at the highest levels of government may have also been exposed and may need to quarantine.

Trump and Hicks have kept a rigorous travel schedule in recent weeks on Air Force One, with other senior officials.

The news on his condition is also likely to refocus campaign attention on the pandemic.

The White House issued a new schedule for Trump's activities on Friday that did not include a planned trip to Florida.

Trump is tested regularly for coronavirus but he and his staff regularly refrain from wearing masks, and have been holding rallies with thousands of people, despite warnings from public health professionals against having events with large crowds.

He regularly criticizes those who do wear masks, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who he met for the presidential debate just on Tuesday.

The president, who for months downplayed the severity of the virus, has come under sharp criticism for his response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States alone.

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