President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Trump, 74, said he and his wife would “begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
“We will get through this TOGETHER!” he added in a social media statement.
The first lady, 50, later announced on Twitter, “As too many Americans have done this year, [the president] I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19.”
“We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” she said.
Sean Conley, physician to the president, said in a memorandum released by the White House that both Trumps are “well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines advise people who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient should quarantine for 14-days because the incubation period for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus can last up to two weeks.
The CCP virus causes COVID-19, a disease that kills a small percentage of patients.
White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19, Trump confirmed earlier Thursday.
Trump, speaking to Fox News’s Sean Hannity in a phone, said that he and the first lady had just gotten tested for COVID-19 because of Hicks’s diagnosis. Trump said he and his wife “spend a lot of time with Hope and others.”
“It’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement, and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them, and you get close and things happen,” he added.
Hicks was wearing a mask when flying with Trump this week.
“She’s a hard worker, a lot of masks,” Trump said. “She wears masks a lot, but she tested positive.”
A White House official told news outlets late Thursday, “Contact tracing has been done and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made.”
Contact tracing is the practice of identifying which people had been in contact with a person following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
People in contact with confirmed cases should avoid others, especially people at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, such as the elderly and people with serious underlying medical conditions, according to the CDC.
Contacts are told to get tested for the new disease.
Even people who do not test positive are encouraged to stay home for two weeks and monitor their health.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, and loss of taste and smell.
Trump was showing mild symptoms, as was the first lady, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday.
Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday, as did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Trump planned to hold a roundtable with supporters in Washington and fly to Florida on Friday for a rally. Both events are now canceled, according to the White House.
An early afternoon phone call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors” was the only thing left on Trump’s daily schedule.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that “The strength of the entire country is with” the president and the first lady.
“America stands united. Our country stands strong. Your President will continue to put the People first!” she said.
Other world leaders have tested positive for COVID-19, including Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, and top Iranian officials.
Members of Congress wished the Trumps well.
“There will be a lot to say about this, but let’s start here: The President and the First Lady have a serious, deadly virus and we should all hope for a full recovery,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a social media statement.
“We’re all hoping for a speedy recovery Mr. President,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) added.
Others criticized Trump upon hearing the news.
“I hope he recovers fully. He needs to face justice,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, POTUS’ experience with COVID may determine if he changes his tune and attitude or not. If he quickly recovers & is symptom free, will he continue to mock those who wear a mask? Will he still say (re: deaths) ‘it is what it is’? Or continue to downplay its danger?” Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.) said.
Trump has encouraged people to wear masks, though he typically refrains from wearing one himself. He said in an interview with Axios last month that he believes his administration has the COVID-19 situation under control.
“How? A thousand Americans are dying a day,” a reporter said.
“They are dying. That’s true. And you—it is what it is,” he responded. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly and Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.