President Donald Trump said that he would begin self-quarantine while waiting for his coronavirus test results after Hope Hicks, one of his closest aides, tested positive for Covid-19.
“She did test positive. I just heard about this,” Trump said in an interview Thursday night on Fox News, about two hours after Bloomberg News first reported Hicks’s positive test. Later, in a tweet, the president said that he and First Lady Melania Trump had been tested for the virus and were waiting on the results. “In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
It was unclear from the president’s tweet whether that meant he planned to halt campaigning for re-election. An official White House schedule released less than an hour earlier still listed his plans to meet with supporters in Washington on Friday, then fly to Florida for a campaign rally near Orlando.
Hicks traveled with Trump aboard Air Force One to and from the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to a Minnesota rally on Wednesday. She felt poorly in Minnesota and quarantined aboard the presidential plane on the way home, according to people familiar with the matter. The people asked not to be identified because Hicks’s infection had not been publicly announced until Trump’s interview. Messages left for Hicks were not immediately returned.
“I’ll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning,” Trump said. He said he “was surprised” about Hicks’s infection, remarking that she often wears a mask. “She is a very warm person,” he said. He suggested that members of the military or law enforcement might pose a risk of infection to White House staff, including himself.
“You know, it’s very hard when you’re with soldiers, when you’re with airmen, you’re with Marines and police officers — I’m with them so much — that when they come over to you, it’s very hard to say, ‘stay back, stay back,’ you know,” Trump said.