President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19, the president announced early Friday.
Trump was transported by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday evening as a precautionary measure recommended by the president’s physician, officials said, and he is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.
The president’s doctor said he was administered an antibody cocktail, along with vitamins, and is fatigued with a low-grade fever, while Melania Trump has a mild cough and headache.
Trump becomes the latest world leader to be diagnosed with the virus just weeks ahead of the election and in the midst of a busy campaign schedule for him and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
This live coverage has ended. Please continue reading the October 3, 2020 liveblog for the latest updates on President Trump's health.
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Schumer: Capitol Hill needs testing and tracing
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday called for a Capitol Hill testing and contact tracing program and accused the White House of putting the Senate and their staffers at risk for the coronavirus.
“This episode demonstrates that the Senate needs a testing and contact tracing program for Senators, staff, and all who work in the Capitol complex," he said in a statement. "We simply cannot allow the administration's cavalier attitude to adversely affect this branch of government."
Schumer, a New York Democrat, called for careful contact tracing of everyone who may have been infected or exposed by the president, first lady, aide Hope Hicks or their contacts.
Several senators have gotten Covid-19 since the outbreak began: Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the first to test positive, in March hours after working out in the senators' gym; Bill Cassidy, R-La., contracted the virus in August; and Mike Lee, R-Utah, announced Friday that he, too, had tested positive.
Schumer noted that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court nominee who senators have been meeting with recently amid the vetting process, might have been exposed to the virus. A White House spokesman said earlier Friday that Barrett is tested daily for Covid-19 and has tested negative.
“It is imperative that all results be made public in order to contain a possible outbreak and so we can determine the need for senators and staff to quarantine or self-isolate," Schumer said in the statement.
Sen. Mike Lee tests positive for Covid-19
Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday. His mask use on the Hill could be described as inconsistent at best. He’s also been a regular attendee of the GOP’s weekly lunches.
Sen. McConnell: Trump in 'good spirits' Friday morning
AG Barr tests negative for Covid-19
Attorney General William Barr has tested negative for Covid-19, a spokesman said on Friday.
The attorney general was with the president at the White House on Saturday at a reception for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. He was not experiencing symptoms but tested out of an abundance of caution.
QAnon followers elated at Trump Covid news
Followers of QAnon, the baseless conspiracy theory that posits the president is leading a secret war against a deep-state cabal of Satanic pedophiles, reacted to news of Trump’s Covid-19 infection with near-universal celebration.
On QAnon forums and Facebook groups, people traded conspiracy theories about Trump’s diagnosis, believing it to be part of an elaborate plan to isolate the leader while violent retribution is taken against believed evil-doers, a time known within the conspiracy theory as “the storm.”
QAnon believers also hold that the coronavirus, which has killed over 200,000 Americans, is a “hoax,” engineered to hurt the president. They have rallied around ineffective treatments like hydroxychloroquine and have refused to wear masks or get a vaccine when one becomes available.
Notable QAnon influencers spent early Friday attempting to "decode" the president's tweet announcing he had the disease and trying to deduce clues from the statement's use of capital letters. The official "Q" account, which followers believe to be a secret government insider giving them hints about the president's plan, has not posted since the president's announcement.
QAnon was among the top trending searches on Google Friday morning.
Melania Trump says she’s also experiencing mild symptoms
Earlier Friday, a White House official said the president was also experiencing mild symptoms.
White House knew about Hope Hicks' diagnosis before Thursday fundraiser
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Friday morning that the White House learned shortly before Trump's Thursday fundraiser in New Jersey that longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for Covid-19.
“I’m not going to get into the tick-tock. I can tell you in terms of Hope, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday, we actually pulled some of the people who had been traveling and in close contact — the reason why it had reported out is we had already started the contact tracing just prior to that event,” he told reporters.
Meadows also told reporters that he, Jared Kushner, Dan Scavino and others have tested negative for the virus, but said the White House expects that more staffers will test positive for the coronavirus following the president’s diagnosis.
“I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will certainly have a positive test result and we’ve got the mitigation plan in place to make sure that the government not only continues to move forward but the work of the American people continues to work forward," he said.
Who was Trump in contact with this week? Here are some of the people
Trump and the first lady are among 300,000 Americans to catch Covid-19 this week
Texas, California, and Wisconsin have seen the most cases in the past seven days.
Pelosi awaits results after taking Covid-19 test 'out of an abundance of caution'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that she has been tested for Covid-19 and is awaiting results.
"This is tragic, it's very sad, but it also is something that, again, going into crowds unmasked and all the rest is sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen. It's sad that it did, but nonetheless hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about," Pelosi said on MSNBC's "Live with Stephanie Ruhle."
Asked if the White House has contacted her about the continuity of government since the House speaker is third in line to the presidency after the vice president, Pelosi said they haven't, but she noted that Vice President Mike Pence tested negative Friday.
Out of an abundance of caution, Pelosi said she was tested Friday morning for Covid-19 because of her in-person meetings with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, though his spokesman said that he has tested negative. The speaker said she is awaiting her results, and said that she has concerns about the accuracy of the tests especially because of the current situation at the White House.
Barron Trump tests negative for Covid-19
Barron Trump, the president's 14-year-old son, has tested negative for Covid-19.
"Barron has tested negative and all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy," Melania Trump's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NBC News.