After months of downplaying the coronavirus and ignoring the advice of health officials, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The President shared the news of their diagnoses via Twitter early Friday morning.
“Tonight, FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump tweeted. “We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The President is currently experiencing “mild symptoms,” according to White House officials.
This announcement follows reports that Trump adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus on Thursday, although the New York Times indicates that the White House knew about Hicks’ diagnosis as early as Wednesday evening.
Despite knowing that Hicks had tested positive, the President still travelled to New Jersey on Thursday for a fundraiser, where he reportedly did not wear a mask.
Upon hearing news of the President and First Lady’s positive test results, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she hopes that Trump’s diagnosis is a “learning experience.”
“This is tragic, it’s very sad, but it also is something that going into crowds, unmasked, and all the rest, was sort of a brazen invitation for this to happen,” Pelosi told reporters on MSNBC.
“Maybe now that people who see the president of the United States, with all the protection he has… still having this exposure… it might be, as you say, a learning experience. More than learning, it has to be something that is acted upon.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris wished both Trump and the First Lady a swift and speedy recovery.
The Biden campaign noted, however, that neither the Trump campaign nor the White House ever reached out to alert them of possible exposure. They only learned of the President’s diagnosis from the news.
The Trump administration has spent the last seven months not taking the pandemic seriously, despite the climbing death toll.
From calling the virus a hoax to downplaying its severity, Trump and his staff have willfully undermined and ignored advice and recommendations from top health experts and officials.
Not only has the President continually refused to wear face masks, but he has insisted on holding large, indoor rallies across the county, putting the lives of his supporters at risk.
Just 11 days ago, Trump falsely claimed that COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody.”
“It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems, if they have other problems, that’s what it really affects, that’s it,” he said during a rally in Ohio last week.
As of Friday, around 207,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the US.
While there is no telling who the President may have infected, he has been endangering the lives of the American people long before he ever tested positive.