President Donald Trump was flown to Walter Reed military hospital where he will spend a “few days” after contracting COVID-19, the White House said Friday, as the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
Here is how the news unfolded on Friday, Oct. 2 (all times CDT):
President Donald Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway said late Friday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, days after attending a White House event with several others who have since come down with COVID-19.
Conway tweeted Friday that she has a “light cough” and is “feeling fine.” “I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” she added.
Conway attended the Rose Garden announcement Saturday where President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Among the attendees, Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis, the president of the University of Notre Dame, as well as Trump himself tested positive Friday for the coronavirus.
9:15 p.m.: An abundance of risk, not caution: Retracing Trump’s steps in the days leading up to his positive COVID-19 diagnosis
No one knows how, when or from whom Trump became infected. Nor is it established who, if anyone, has contracted the disease from him. But to retrace some of his steps over the last week is to see risk at multiple turns and an abundance of opportunity for infection.
This was the case day after day and right up until a few hours before his positive diagnosis, as he took a contingent to New Jersey for a fund-raiser with the White House knowing he’d been close to someone sick with COVID-19.
The result is that one of the most protected people on the planet has caught a disease that has killed more than 1 million people worldwide, more than 200,000 of them in the United States.
7:40 p.m.: GOP Sen. Tillis of North Carolina tests positive
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Tillis said in a statement Friday night that his rapid antigen test showed that he is infected. He issued the statement as President Donald Trump was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the same illness.
Tillis, who is up for reelection in November, is the latest person to be diagnosed with the infection after attending the Supreme Court nomination ceremony in the White House Rose Garden for Amy Coney Barrett. Tillis was wearing a mask at the ceremony.
He is the second member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to test positive. Just a few hours earlier, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah announced that he, too, is infected.
Tillis is routinely seen on Capitol Hill wearing a mask. He says he has no symptoms but will be isolating.
7:35 p.m.: Trump’s age and health woes put him at greater risk after COVID-19 infection. Here’s what experts say about his outlook.
President Donald Trump has several strikes against him — age, obesity, elevated cholesterol and being male — that could put him at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus infection he disclosed early Friday.
Trump’s doctor said later in the day that the president felt fatigued and that he had been given an experimental treatment aimed at staving off a severe case of COVID-19. Friday evening he was flown to a military hospital where he will spend a “few days.” Being there would allow for closer monitoring, such as if doctors decide they’d like scans of his lungs, and a quicker reaction time if he takes a turn for the worse.
“The odds are far and away that he’ll have a mild illness” as most people with the virus do, said Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic who has no role in Trump’s care.
But COVID-19 is very unpredictable, he stressed.
“We have young people who die. We have nursing home patients, a lot of them, who actually do quite well,” Poland said.
7:15 p.m.: Graham says senators can participate virtually in upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham says senators can participate virtually in upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings after President Donald Trump and other lawmakers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Graham tweeted Friday evening that “Any Senator who wants to participate virtually will be allowed to do so.”
Graham’s message came out as Trump traveled to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment at the advice of his doctors. His doctors say he is experiencing mild symptoms.
Graham said he had been tested for COVID-19 following his interaction with fellow Judiciary Committee member Republican Sen. Mike Lee, who has tested positive.
Graham said his test for the coronavirus was negative. He said Lee is “in good spirits and on the mend” and expects to be back to work with the committee by Oct. 12, set as the date for the beginning of the confirmation process.
6:20 p.m.: What we know — and what we don’t — about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment
There are many unanswered questions surrounding President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said he only had mild symptoms, and his doctor said Trump was fatigued. But the president was being flown to Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was expected to stay a few days.
6:15 p.m.: How does a transfer of power work under the 25th Amendment?
President Donald Trump announced early Friday on Twitter that he has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and he will spend several days at Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment and evaluation.
The 25th Amendment provides some answers about how presidential power could be transferred, either temporarily or more permanently. Trump has not invoked the amendment in this case. In fact, the White House said he will continue to work from an office set up for him at the hospital.
5:40 p.m.: Trump arrives at Walter Reed, releases video
President Donald Trump has arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and released a video saying that he thinks he’s “doing very well.”
Marine One landed near the military hospital on Friday evening, and Trump was driven to the large complex. White House officials say that the visit is precautionary and that Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
When he walked out of the White House, he was wearing a mask and gave a thumbs-up to reporters. He also released a video on Twitter, saying, “I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump “remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.”
Shortly before he departed for the hospital, his personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo issued by the White House that he had received an experimental antibody cocktail.
5:20 p.m.: Trump walks to Marine One, gives thumbs up
President Donald Trump has appeared in public for the first time since his COVID-19 diagnosis, giving a thumbs up before he boarded Marine One for a military hospital.
Trump walked out of the White House to the helicopter Friday evening on his way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
The White House says Trump will spend a “few days” at a military hospital on the advice of his physicians after contracting COVID-19.
The White House says that the visit is precautionary and that Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
Earlier Friday the White House said Trump remains “fatigued” and had been injected with an experimental antibody drug combination for the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
5:05 p.m.: Biden campaign taking down attack ads, AP sources say
Joe Biden’s campaign is taking down its attack ads in the wake of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.
That’s according to a Biden campaign official who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Friday to discuss internal planning.
The Democrat’s campaign is removing all its negative ads, although in some cases, it may take days for ads already in circulation to stop running. The official says Biden made the decision before news surfaced that Trump was being transferred to a military hospital for a “few days” of treatment.
At least so far, Trump’s campaign has not begun removing any of its attack ads against Biden.
The presidential election is just over one month away.
—Steve Peoples, Associated Press
4:25 p.m.: Trump going to hospital on advice of doctors
The White House says President Donald Trump will spend a “few days” at a military hospital on the advice of his physicians after contracting COVID-19.
Trump is to depart the White House by helicopter early Friday evening for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The White House says that the visit is precautionary and that Trump will work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.
Earlier Friday the White House said Trump remains “fatigued” and had been injected with an experimental antibody drug combination for the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.
4 p.m.: Biden says Trump diagnosis demonstrates virus threat
Democrat Joe Biden says President Donald Trump testing positive for the coronavirus is a “bracing reminder” of the seriousness of the virus. He also says he’s received two tests, and both came back negative.
Speaking at an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, Biden said he received a test in Delaware and one from “the former White House doctor” who came up to Delaware to administer the test, “and everything’s clear.”
The president said early Friday that he and his wife, Melania Trump, had tested positive for coronavirus. Biden was tested after spending nearly 90 minutes onstage with the president during their debate earlier this week.
Biden said he wished the president and the first lady a full recovery and that “this is not a matter of politics.” Biden said it was a “reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously. It is not going away automatically.”
3:40 p.m.: Trump got experimental antibody cocktail, doctor says
President Donald Trump’s doctor says Trump is being treated with an experimental drug aimed at supplying antibodies to help fight his coronavirus infection.
Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs. They attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. But it can take weeks for them to form. The drugs are purified versions of ones that seemed to work best in lab and animal tests.
Trump is receiving a two-antibody combo drug that’s currently in late-stage studies from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company previously developed a successful treatment for Ebola using a similar approach.
It’s given as a one-time treatment through an IV.
Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the drug was being given “as a precautionary measure,” and that Trump also was taking zinc, vitamin D, an antacid called famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. None of those have been proven to be effective against COVID-19.
Trump apparently is not receiving hydroxychloroquine, a drug he widely promoted that has been shown in many studies to be ineffective for preventing or treating COVID-19.
3:15 p.m.: Officials say Barrett had virus over the summer
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and her husband had coronavirus earlier this year and recovered, according to two administration officials.
The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Barrett was nominated to the high court last week after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump held a press conference outside where few people wore masks. Barrett and her family were not wearing them.
Trump announced Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, after aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed.
Barrett has also been meeting with senators ahead of her confirmation hearing, including Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who also announced Friday that he had tested positive for the virus.
The science is unclear on whether someone who has the virus can get it again.
More than 205,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
—Colleen Long and Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press
3:10 p.m.: Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis sends final stage of election into further chaos — and no one knows exactly what comes next
An election year already defined by a cascade of national crises descended further into chaos Friday, with President Donald Trump declaring that he’s tested positive for the coronavirus after consistently playing down the threat.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who spent 90 minutes on stage with Trump in their Tuesday debate, tested negative and moved forward with plans to attend a campaign event in Michigan Friday afternoon.
No one knows exactly what comes next.
Much depends on the extent of Trump’s symptoms, but, at the least, the development focuses the campaign right where Biden has put his emphasis for months — and where Republicans don’t want it: on Trump’s uneven response to a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 people in the U.S. And for the short term, it’s grounded Trump in a quarantine, denying him the large public rallies that fuel his campaign just a month before the election.
More broadly, the stunning development injected even greater uncertainty into an election already plagued by crises that have exploded under Trump’s watch: the pandemic, devastating economic fallout and sweeping civil unrest. With millions of Americans already voting, the country on Friday entered uncharted territory that threatened to rattle global markets and political debates around the world.
2:45 p.m.: Rep. Ilhan Omar blasts Trump for ‘actively spreading’ virus
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s, is blasting him for what she calls “actively spreading a deadly virus.”
Omar said earlier this year that her father died of the virus, and she said in a statement Friday that she doesn’t wish it on anyone.
Omar, a Democrat, says the nation has been waiting for months to hear Trump say America “will get through this together.” And she says he’s saying that now because it’s about him.
Trump announced earlier Friday that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus.
She criticized Trump for holding a rally and fundraiser this week in Minnesota without wearing a mask, saying he exposed hundreds of people in a state where cases are already rising.
2:30 p.m.: Sen. Dick Durbin says Trump should sympathize with those who have preexisting conditions
Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin had a message for President Donald Trump on Friday: Get well soon — and maintain the Affordable Care Act.
Before blasting Trump’s swift nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court as a crack at dismantling the landmark health care plan, the second-ranking Democratic senator said the health of the president and the first lady — who both announced early Friday morning that they tested positive for the coronavirus — is paramount.
“We wish them a complete and speedy recovery,” Durbin said at a news conference at Mount Sinai Hospital on Chicago’s West Side. “Politics aside, this is a moment for us to come together and as we should with every person facing this challenge and wish them the very best care and the very best results as quickly as possible.”
Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he also hopes Trump takes this time to sympathize with the millions of Americans with preexisting conditions who could lose health care should the Supreme Court strike down the ACA, also known as Obamacare. That starts with ensuring Senate Republicans do not install Barrett on the highest court before it hears oral arguments on the law’s constitutionality on Nov. 10, he said.
“Having said that, we now have to advise the president after he is fully recovered that he is a person with a preexisting condition,” Durbin said. “He has tested positive for COVID-19. He joins at least 6 million Americans in the same category. It won’t make a big difference probably in his life or the life of the first lady moving forward, but it can make a big difference if we’re not careful.”
2:15 p.m.: 11 positive virus cases related to debate setup
Cleveland officials say they’re aware of 11 positive coronavirus cases related to the setup and planning for Tuesday’s presidential debate.
The city said in a statement Friday that it’s working with state and federal officials and is involved with interviewing those who tested positive.
Earlier Friday, President Donald Trump announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19. Both traveled to Cleveland on Tuesday for the first presidential debate of the campaign. It’s unclear where they contracted the virus.
Cleveland officials say most of the cases stemming from the pre-debate planning and setup involved people from out of state. They say health officials are now looking into their travels.
1:40 p.m.: White House not making changes to current virus protocol
The White House does not appear to be making any changes to current virus protocol, even after President Donald Trump and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19.
A senior White House official said Friday that masks will still not be mandatory at the White House, describing facial coverings as “a personal choice,” despite overwhelming evidence that they help to stop the spread.
And the White House is not planning to move to a different, more reliable testing system after the one it uses failed to detect that adviser Hope Hicks had the virus the day she began experiencing symptoms.
The president, his White House and his campaign have generally taken a lax approach to the pandemic, continuing to hold large events and failing to abide by social distancing recommendations.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House thinking, defended the current system.
—Jill Colvin, Associated Press
1:35 p.m.: Commission says Pence-Harris debate still on
The vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris next week will go on as scheduled after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.
An official with the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed that no changes are anticipated to the Wednesday night debate in Salt Lake City. Both Pence and Harris underwent tests for the coronavirus on Friday and tested negative.
Pence’s physician said in a memo that the vice president was not considered a “close contact” of anyone infected with COVID-19 and was not required to quarantine.
“Vice President Mike Pence remains in good health and is free to go about his normal activities,” said Navy Lt. Commander Dr. Jesse Schonau in a statement.
1:20 p.m.: Trump won’t campaign in person for now
President Donald Trump’s campaign manager says all campaign events involving the president and his family will either be turned into virtual events or postponed until further notice.
Bill Stepien, who heads Trump’s reelection, says Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative for COVID-19, plans to continue to his campaign schedule.
The announcement comes after Trump tweeted earlier Friday that he and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.
It is not clear when the president was exposed. One of the president’s top advisers, Hope Hicks, tested positive on Thursday for the virus. Two others — Utah Sen. Mike Lee and University of Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins — who attended Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony on Saturday to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court — have also tested positive for the virus.
12:22 p.m.: Notre Dame president tests positive for COVID-19 after attending White House Rose Garden ceremony
The University of Notre Dame’s president has tested positive for COVID-19, a school spokesman confirmed Friday morning, less than a week after he attended Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House without wearing a mask.
The Rev. John Jenkins has mild symptoms and contracted the illness “from a colleague he was in regular contact with at Notre Dame,” according to university spokesman Paul Browne.
Jenkins, who’s led the Catholic university since 2005, has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks for appearing not always to follow COVID-19 safety precautions.
In August, Jenkins sent an apology to students after he was photographed taking a group picture with students standing around him, and within 6 feet, when the school reopened for in-person classes. The photo, which was shared widely on social media, appeared to show everyone wearing masks.
More recently, Jenkins came under fire for not wearing a mask when he attended the Rose Garden ceremony for Coney Barrett’s nomination Saturday. Photos from the event also show Jenkins in close proximity to other guests and shaking hand with attendees.
Jenkins also apologized to students and faculty for that in a message Monday. He said he had a rapid COVID-19 tested before the event and that it came back negative.
11:30 a.m.: Biden tweets he is negative for COVID-19, hits campaign trail
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced Friday that he and his wife Jill have tested negative for COVID-19 after sharing a debate stage with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, who has announced a positive test and some symptoms of illness.
“I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID, ” Biden tweeted. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.”
Dr. Kevin O’Connor released the negative results in a statement issued by the Biden campaign. Biden was on the debate stage with Trump for more than 90 minutes earlier in the week.
Biden is moving forward with plans to travel to Michigan on Friday after he and his wife, Jill, tested negative for the coronavirus.
The Democratic presidential nominee had planned on traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to talk about the economy on Friday morning. His trip was delayed by several hours as he awaited the test results.
Biden spent much of the spring and early summer close to his Wilmington, Delaware, home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But he’s stepped up his travel in the final stretch of the campaign, while still taking heed of public health guidelines.
He regularly wears a mask in public, something that Trump taunted Biden for during this week’s debate. And he mostly appears in front of small, socially distanced crowds.
—Chicago Tribune staff and the Associated Press
10:43 a.m.: Leader McConnell tweets that Supreme Court nomination process is still on as Sen. Mike Lee announces positive result
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he spoke with the president on Friday after Trump’s postive test for COVID-19. The Kentucky Republican said the president, who the White House says is working from his private residence, was in good spirits and indicated the confirmation process for Judge Amy Coney Barrett was still a go.
“He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett,” McConnell tweeted. “Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve.”
Meanwhile, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a key member of the Judiciary Committee, announced he has tested positive for COVID-19, just a few days after he met in-person and indoors with Judge Barrett. The two are pictured on social media not wearing masks, but it’s not clear when Lee believes he was infected.
“She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands.”
Also Friday morning, The Washington Post, citing sources, reported Barrett had contracted the novel coronavirus earlier this year. —Associated Press and Chicago Tribune staff
10:38 a.m.: Biden tested after proximity to Trump at Tuesday’s debate
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been tested for the coronavirus in the wake of President Donald Trump’s infection and is awaiting results.
That’s according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal discussions.
Biden was on the debate stage with Trump for more than 90 minutes earlier in the week.
It’s unclear if Biden will appear at his scheduled campaign events later in the day. The Democrat’s campaign is expected to announce the results of Biden’s test and his travel plans later Friday.
10:28 a.m.: Stocks dip — but don’t dive — on news of infected president
Stocks are pulling lower Friday, as Wall Street’s first reaction to President Donald Trump’s testing positive for the coronavirus was to retrench.
The S&P 500 was down 0.6% in morning trading, and a measure of fear among investors was on the rise. But the moves weren’t close to as chaotic as earlier this year, when markets were first selling off on coronavirus fears. Stocks were also paring their earlier losses, with the S&P 500 more than halving its 1.7% drop from shortly after trading began.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 116 points, or 0.4%, at 27,700, as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern time, after earlier being down 433 points. The Nasdaq composite was 0.9% lower.
10:20 a.m.: First lady tweets she’s ‘overall feeling good’
First lady Melania Trump tweeted Friday morning that she, like her husband the president, was experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery,” she wrote.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said President Trump was also experiencing mild symptoms, but continues to work from the White House residence as he quarantines. The Trump’s youngest child, Barron, 14, has tested negative for the virus. —Associated Press
9:33 a.m.: Trump tests positive just before planned stops in Wisconsin, the latest coronavirus hot spot
Wisconsin currently ranks third nationwide in new COVID-19 cases per capita and in the past week has broken daily records for new cases and deaths. The state’s chief medical officer on Tuesday said Wisconsin was in “crisis” and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, along with local officials where Trump planned to rally, had urged him to reconsider.
Trump’s campaign had not yet officially canceled the Saturday rallies scheduled for Green Bay and Janesville, but the president said Thursday night that he was quarantined at the White House.
His rallies typically attract thousands of people, most of whom don’t wear masks, despite guidance from state and federal health officials that is an effective way to slow the spread of the virus.
Cases in Wisconsin have surged after the state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s “safer at home” order in May. A conservative law firm is now asking a judge to end the state’s mask mandate. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan pointed to Trump’s diagnosis in a call for conservatives to drop their lawsuit.
9:31 a.m.: Ronna McDaniel, leader of the Republican Party, tests positive
A Republican National Committee official confirmed Friday that Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel learned she had tested positive Wednesday afternoon. She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday and did not attend the debate.
9:23 a.m.: Democratic leaders send prayers, Pelosi says she hopes positive test is ‘learning experience’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s praying for the president and hopes his testing positive for COVID-19 might be a “learning experience” about the virus.
“Let us all pray for the president’s health,” Pelosi said on MSNBC. She added, “This is tragic, It is very sad.”
The speaker said she was tested out of caution and is awaiting results. But said warned against “brazen” behavior that allowed “something like this to happen”
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is wishing President Trump and first lady Melania Trump a “full and speedy recovery” after they contracted the COVID-19 virus.
Harris tweeted Friday that she and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are “keeping them and the entire Trump family in our thoughts.”
Harris is scheduled to campaign in Las Vegas on Friday. It was not immediately clear whether those plans would change.
7:50 a.m.: Biden sends well wishes to Trump and family
Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden tweeted well wishes for President Trump and first lady Melania on Friday morning, saying he wished the couple a speedy recovery and said he and his wife, Jill, would pray for the president.
Trump’s handling of the pandemic has already been a major flashpoint in his race against Biden, who spent much of the summer off the campaign trail and at his home in Delaware because of the virus. Biden has since resumed a more active campaign schedule, but with small, socially distanced crowds. He also regularly wears a mask in public, something Trump mocked him for at Tuesday night’s debate.
“I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said of Biden. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
It was not immediately clear whether the former vice president had been tested since appearing at Tuesday’s presidential debate with Trump or whether he was taking any additional safety protocols. Trump and Biden did not shake hands during the debate but stood without masks about 10 feet apart for the 90-minute event.
—Associated Press and Chicago Tribune staff
7:15 a.m.: Vice President Mike Pence announces he’s negative for COVID-19
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the virus on Friday morning and “remains in good health,” his spokesman said.
“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day. This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19,” he tweeted. “Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.” —Associated Press and Chicago Tribune staff
6:45 a.m.: Putin offers ‘sincere support’ to Trump as world leaders offer statements of support (and some schadenfreude)
Russian President Vladimir Putin is extending wishes of a speedy recovery to U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, and expressing “sincere support in this difficult moment,” according to a statement released by the Kremlin on Friday.
The Kremlin says Putin sent Trump a telegram saying, “I hope that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus.”
The Russian president joined a list of world leaders expressing sympathy and concern and some thinly-veiled schadenfreude, in light of Trump’s repeated downplaying of the pandemic and shoot-from-the-hip approach to the science surrounding it.
For example, the Australian satirical news site Betoota Advocate posted a story with this headline: “Trump Family Records More Cases Of Community Transmission Than Entire State Of Queensland.” Read more here.
—Associated Press and Chicago Tribune staff
4 a.m.: Pompeo says he has tested negative for COVID-19
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he and his wife have tested negative for the coronavirus after they were examined on their airplane 20 minutes prior to landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on Friday.
He said it was the fourth time in two weeks he has been tested.
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Pompeo says the last time he was with Trump was on Sept. 15, at the White House, for the signing of normalization agreements among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The top U.S. diplomat says he is reconsidering upcoming travel to Florida on Saturday and Asia starting Sunday as a precaution.
He says, “We are praying for the president and the First Lady and we hope they have a speedy recovery.”
3:40 a.m.: On Monday, Trump updated the nation on coronavirus strategy. By Friday, he tested positive.
On Monday, President Donald Trump updated the nation on the administration’s coronavirus testing strategy and announced a plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests. By early Friday, he had the virus himself.
On the days in between, Trump interacted with scores of staff, donors and supporters. Even the woman he has nominated to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has been at the White House this week.
The president held preparation sessions with staff members for his debate Tuesday night with former Vice President Joe Biden, in the tight quarters of the West Wing, where officials who are tested regularly have relied on negative results as an excuse to forgo masks and other safety precautions.
He attended a closed-door fundraiser at a private home of a wealthy supporter in Minneapolis, and he appeared before thousands of people at a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, where most of the crowd did not wear masks. He also shared a stage with Biden.
It is not yet clear when and how Trump contracted the virus. The president and the first lady, Melania Trump, said they had both tested positive hours after one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had also tested positive. Hicks received the diagnosis after she began experiencing symptoms Wednesday while attending the president’s rally in Minnesota. Trump kept his appearance there to about 45 minutes, roughly half the length of one of his typical rally speeches.
Early Friday, it was still unclear how many other aides who had come into close contact with Trump had tested positive, but the White House said its medical unit was conducting contact tracing. Top advisers to the president described themselves as in a state of shock and said they expected a number of additional cases among people in Trump’s orbit. White House officials had hoped to keep the news about Hicks from becoming public, to no avail.
Read more here. —Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times
3:10 a.m.: How the world reacted to news of Trump’s COVID-19 infection
News of the infection of the most powerful man in the world with the most notorious disease in the world drew instant reactions of shock, sympathy, undisguised glee and, of course, the ever-present outrage and curiosity that follow much of what Donald Trump does, even from 10,000 miles away.
Trump’s announcement, on Twitter, on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, and the deep uncertainty that accompanied it, permeated the global news cycle, upending countless plans and sparking comment everywhere from presidential offices to the thousands looking to weigh in on social media.
The positive test reading for the leader of the world’s largest economy adds more uncertainty to investors’ worries, including how the infection might affect the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. U.S. stock futures and Asian shares fell in the wake of the news. The future contracts for both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials lost 1.9%. Oil prices also slipped. Stock prices in Japan and Australia tumbled.
2:35 a.m.: Timeline of Trump’s activities in week coronavirus hit home
With just a month to go until the election, President Donald Trump had a busy schedule during the week the coronavirus hit home with him. Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.
2 a.m.: Shares, oil prices sink after Trump tests positive for COVID-19
U.S. stock futures and Asian shares fell Friday after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The future contracts for both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials briefly lost more than 2% but were down 1.4% as of 0630 GMT. Oil prices tumbled more than 3%.
Trump tweeted news of his test results just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week.
The positive test reading for the leader of the world’s largest economy heaps uncertainty onto a growing pile of unknowns investors are grappling with, first among them how it might affect the Nov. 3 election and American policies on trade, tariffs and many other issues beyond then.
“To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement,” Rabobank said in a commentary. “Anyway, everything now takes a backseat to the latest incredible twist in this US election campaign.”
1:55 a.m.: Trump joins growing list of world leaders infected with COVID-19
President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a small group of world leaders who have been infected. Trump is 74, putting him at higher risk of serious complications.
1:20 a.m.: Pence send prayers to Trumps; no word on whether VP had been tested
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.
12:40 a.m.: White House doctor says Trump will continue carrying out his duties ‘without disruption’
President Donald Trump’s White House doctor has issued a statement saying the president will continue carrying out his duties “without disruption” after contracting the coronavirus.
Dr. Sean Conley, the physician to the president, says the president and first lady Melania Trump “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.” T
Trump has canceled plans to attend a fundraiser and to fly to Florida for a rally on Friday, but he did keep on his schedule a previously planned midday telephone call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.”