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.
Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics
Trump has low-grade fever
On Friday afternoon, the president had a low-grade fever, according to three people familiar with his condition. White House physician, Dr. Conley, released a second letter detailing treatment plans and indicating Trump was fatigued.
Trump given 'precautionary' antibodies
The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a statement released by the White House that the president received a “single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail” after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on Friday.
Conley called the treatment “a precautionary measure" and noted Trump is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.
“As of this afternoon the President remains fatigued but in good spirits,” Conley said.
No apparent changes to White House virus protocols
The White House does not appear to be making any changes to current virus protocol, even after President 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 official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House thinking, defended the current system.
Why isn't Biden in quarantine?
Joe Biden, who shared the stage with Trump during the first presidential debate, isn't quarantining, a Biden campaign official tells NBC News, because he “tested negative and was not in close contact with President Trump. He also wore a mask at all times, except for when he was on stage. And we implement social distancing, mask wearing, and other best practices in all of our campaigning."
Pelosi tests negative for Covid-19
Trump not the first president to be infected in a pandemic, Woodrow Wilson was in the same spot a century ago.
A pandemic was ravaging America, thousands were dead or dying, and the president was infected.
His name was Woodrow Wilson and one century ago he was in a situation similar to the position Donald Trump finds himself in now.
Only then, the illness that laid Wilson low had been dubbed the Spanish flu, not the coronavirus that has infected Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and more than 7 million other Americans.
And when Wilson got sick in April 1919 while in Paris negotiating the end of World War I, his wife, Edith, quickly stepped in to make sure as few people as possible knew the president was ailing.
Tracking Covid-19 infections among President Trump's contacts
We know that Trump and the first lady tested positive for Covid-19 after White House aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed. What we don’t know is how far among Trump’s contacts and confidants the disease spread before and after the president became infected.
NBC News is tracking the declared infection status of those who came into contact with Trump in the last few days. Note that a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean a person is off the hook for Covid-19. We will update this table with new information as it becomes available.
Giuliani tests negative for Covid-19
Rudy Giuliani has tested negative for COVID-19, his spokeswoman told NBC News.
Giuliani was in close contact with Trump repeatedly this week as he helped him prepare for Tuesday's debate.
DNC chair, who was in front row for debate, tested negative
DNC Chairman Tom Perez has tested negative for Covid-19, DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said on Friday.
Perez was seated in the front row for the debate on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS: For vulnerable voters, Trump's diagnosis may weaken his case for re-election
Trump's early Friday morning announcement that he had tested positive for Covid-19 instantaneously weakened his campaign for re-election in both political and practical terms.
On the political front, he has to try to square his assertion that he had tamed the crisis with his own test result and new data showing a slowing of the nation's economic recovery. And he will face more questions about his capacity to assess risk, perhaps the most important characteristic for any presidential candidate and one that is particularly significant for him because of the emphasis he has put on positioning himself as a steward of Americans' security.
"There's nothing positive about it," conservative strategist and MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler said of the test result. "Politically speaking, there’s no upside for him because it fundamentally undermines his central re-election message, which is: The coronavirus is under control, we’ve turned the corner and the economy is re-emergent. ... None of that is true — we haven’t turned the corner."
Marine One follows strict sanitizing, testing protocol between Trump trips
The Marine Corps said in a statement that helicopters - like Marine One — are sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines. Marine pilots are also routinely tested, too.
"Marines supporting the President during this time will be tested and CDC isolation protocols will be followed," the Corps said in a statement.
Trump flew on the aircraft multiple times this week before testing positive for Covid-19.
When something happens to a president, who takes charge?
When George W. Bush checked into the hospital for routine colonoscopies in 2002 and 2007, the procedures required him to be sedated, unable to act in an emergency. So he invoked a provision of the Constitution that temporarily put his vice president in charge.
That same provision of the 25th Amendment can be invoked whenever a president is, for any reason, unable to carry out the duties of the office. It was adopted after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy because Congress realized there was no clear answer to who was supposed to be in charge.
It addressed the Kennedy situation by saying that whenever a president dies or resigns, the vice president becomes president.
But a different provision covers presidential illnesses like Covid-19.
Fact check: What's in a negative test?
As Trump aides and allies begin announcing negative coronavirus testing, it’s worth noting that a negative test is not an absolute guarantee that someone does not have Covid-19.
"You can have a negative test and have it be a false negative, which is the challenge with rapid testing. Or it could be negative today and be positive tomorrow. To say a negative test excuses you from the quarantine is not what is recommended,” said Dr. Howard Koh, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who was a top official in the Obama administration's Health and Human Services department.
Some rapid tests have been found to have high rates of false-negatives, and infected people can test negative in the earliest days of their infection if the swab does not pick up any viral particles. That’s why experts say quarantines are key to stopping the spread of the virus.
The CDC defines "close contact" as anyone who has come within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, but Koh said he'd recommend anyone who came in contact with Trump or other infected individuals quarantine for a full 14 days.
Trump's Covid diagnosis upends campaign, presents challenge for Biden
Biden said Friday he is praying for the president and first lady after Donald and Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19 — a stunning development that has upended an already tumultuous campaign.
Democrats know they need to walk a fine line, but say Biden should press ahead full throttle with his campaign and prosecution of the case that Trump botched the coronavirus crisis, even as he expresses personal sympathy for the president, his family, and his staff.
"Suspending the campaign would be a disservice to the country and there is no reason to do it," said Ben LaBolt, a former aide to former president Barack Obama.
"One of the judgments voters are making is which candidate would have better managed the response to the coronavirus and who has the leadership to lead us out of this national emergency," LaBolt added. "While we should wish the president a healthy recovery, his diagnosis is a visible demonstration of a failure of leadership at every level of this White House."
With the test result in hand, Biden proceeded with plans to campaign in the battleground state of Michigan Friday, while running mate Kamala Harris, who was not at the debate, also tested negative and traveled to Las Vegas for a previously scheduled campaign stop.
Trump to halt in-person campaign events
Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien announced Friday afternoon that all in-person events with the president would be replaced with virtual events or would be temporarily postponed.
Trump had multiple rallies scheduled over the next few days in Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Stepien said that Pence, who tested negative for the virus Friday morning, "plans on resuming his scheduled campaign events."
At a campaign rally on Tuesday, Pence told supporters he had been in the Oval Office with Trump earlier that day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines recommend quarantining for 14 days after coming into contact with someone who has Covid-19, even in the event of a negative test result. If Pence followed those recommendations, he would have to quarantine through Oct. 13.
Trump experiencing mild Covid symptoms: Why the first week matters
The next five to 10 days will be critical for President Donald Trump after his positive test for Covid-19. Doctors warn the illness can suddenly worsen after several days of relatively mild symptoms.
That's particularly true for patients with two of the biggest risk factors for serious and even life-threatening complications of the disease: obesity and older age. At 74 and with a body mass index of 30.5, qualifying him as obese, Trump fits both criteria.
"I'm worried," Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and an affiliate assistant professor at UW Medicine in Seattle, said Friday on NBC's "TODAY."
Read more about the possible health risks and treatments for the president.
Trump asked Pence to replace him on Covid information call
Trump asked Pence to replace him on a 12:15 call on Covid-19 support for vulnerable seniors, a source familiar with the call confirms.
It’s not clear why Trump requested the change. This was the only item on Trump’s public schedule Friday.
Notre Dame president, who attended Saturday White House event, has Covid
Here are all the Trump-related Covid-19 test results
Below is a roundup of Covid-19 tests results of members of the Trump inner circle and others who interacted with the president or team in the past week. A negative test result does not necessarily mean that person is Covid-free as the virus may take several days to show up on a test.
President Donald Trump
First lady Melania Trump
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah (attended Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination event on Saturday)
Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
HHS Secretary Alex Azar
Attorney General Bill Barr
Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Joe and Jill Biden
Sen. Kamala Harris
Donald Trump Jr. (flew on Air Force One to Cleveland debate, did not fly back)
Kimberly Guilfoyle (at debate)
Chris Christie (was in Trump debate prep, getting tested on Friday but is not experiencing symptoms)
Robert O’Brien, national security adviser (tested positive for coronavirus in July)
Rudy Giuliani (was in Trump debate prep, getting tested Friday, and in quarantine)
Eric Trump (at debate)
Lara Trump (at debate)
Tiffany Trump (at debate)
Kellyanne Conway (was in Trump debate prep)
Jason Miller (was in Trump debate prep)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (tested Friday morning)
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Senate pro tem (won’t be tested, at the advice of his physician)
Defense Secretary Mark Esper
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio (flew on Air Force One to Cleveland debate, did not fly back)
Alice Marie Johnson (flew on Air Force One to Cleveland debate)
Cleveland Clinic tells debate guests: Your Covid risk is low
Cleveland Clinic issued a statement on Friday telling debate attendees that their risk of contracting the coronavirus at the debate is low.
“Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is a low risk of exposure to our guests,” the Ohio-based medical center said. “Out of abundance of caution, we are reaching out to guests to address any questions and concerns, as well as offering testing,”
Cleveland Clinic advised the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site on mitigating the coronavirus risk, requiring temperature checks, hand sanitizing, social distancing, and mask-wearing. Anyone inside the debate hall was tested for the coronavirus before entry, while campaigns and their staff were tested by their campaigns, they said in a statement.
Several members of the Trump family and their guests took their masks off once inside the debate hall.
A Cleveland Clinic doctor in a white lab coat started to approach Trump family guests to wear a mask. She offered them one in case they didn’t get one. She never approached the family but as she got closer to them, someone shook their head and no one she reminded to put on a mask ended up putting one on.
When the doctor, who refused to comment to the press, walked off the floor, a debate hall staffer told her "That’s all you can do."
Bidens test negative for Covid-19
Joe and Jill Biden tested negative for Covid-19, his personal physician, Kevin O'Conner, said in a statement on Friday.
The pair received rapid tests earlier Friday after being in close proximity to Trump at Tuesday's debate.
White House 'in a panic,' Trump under pressure to make public appearance
Some of Trump’s allies are pressuring him to appear in public in some form today in an attempt to calm the markets and the country, even if it’s just a brief appearance from a window or via video, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
"How the next 24 hours are handled are critical," one of them said.
In terms of the overall mood inside the White House, "everybody is in a panic” about their own health, a person familiar with the dynamic said. Many White House officials were around Hope Hicks, in particular, as well as the president.
There is some concern inside the West Wing about whether the rapid tests that anyone near the president has been taken regularly are actually accurate. NBC’s Medical Unit advises that the timing and type of test that an official has taken matters in terms of the accuracy of their negative results.
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.
Where Trump went the week he was diagnosed with Covid-19
From Ohio to Minnesota to New Jersey, and back to Washington, D.C., the president crisscrossed a chunk of the country this week.
Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for Covid-19
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has tested negative for Covid-19, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
"Judge Barrett was with the President last on Saturday when she was nominated," Deere said. "Judge Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19—she has tested negative."
He added, "She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands."
RNC chair tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.
"After a member of her family tested positive for COVID-19, the Chairwoman was tested for the virus," an RNC spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. "On Wednesday afternoon, she got confirmation she was COVID-19 positive. She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday.”
Shocked markets swoon on fresh uncertainty
Major indices fell at the opening bell Friday morning after President Donald Trump's diagnosis injected fresh uncertainty into the forecast, driving investors to sell off shares and move to safe haven assets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by around 375 points, the S&P 500 dropped nearly 1.5 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell by over 1.7 percent.
Assets seen as safe havens during volatility rallied, with the dollar and yen rising. Gold initially rose but pared gains to trade at $1,907. Crude oil fell to $37 a barrel.
“The news came as a shock to investors and the uncertainty of what lay next was quickly priced into markets,” wrote Peter Essele, Head of Portfolio Management for Commonwealth Financial Network, in an email.
“It seems reasonable to assume that markets will be on shaky ground throughout October with the perfect storm of a highly contentious election and a pandemic that remains stubbornly at the forefront," Essele said.
But the losses could also be short lived. Trump's positive Covid-19 test could spur action on deadlocked bills to inject new rounds of coronavirus stimulus, according to Jamie Cox, Managing Partner for Harris Financial Group.
Trump experiencing 'mild symptoms' after testing positive for Covid-19
Trump is experiencing "mild symptoms" on Friday after testing positive for Covid-19 overnight, according to a White House official.
It's unclear when he first contracted the virus but he has attended multiple campaign events in recent days, including Tuesday's debate and a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday.
The official, who says Trump is "in good spirits," said there are discussions within the White House about whether the president will address the American public in some form on Friday. No final decision has been made.
Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner test negative for Covid-19
From masks to disinfectants: Trump's coronavirus theories
President Donald Trump, who played down the threat of the coronavirus pandemic for months, said early Friday that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19 and were going into isolation, potentially upending the race for the White House.
The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains among the highest in the world, with Trump joining some seven million Americans who have tested positive, so far.
Here are several times that the president downplayed or endorsed theories dismissing the severity of the deadly pandemic.
Biden campaign says Trump team did not alert them about president's diagnosis
Neither the White House nor the Trump campaign has reached out to Joe Biden about Trump's diagnosis after the two appeared on the debate stage together on Tuesday, two Biden officials told NBC News.
Multiple Biden officials are expressing concern and frustration that Trump staffers and family members, many of whom took their maks off inside the debate hall, could have exposed so many people on Tuesday night.
Biden will get tested for Covid-19 on Friday, as will Jill Biden and campaign staff members who were at the debate on Tuesday.
Biden was scheduled to be in Michigan with multiple stops in Grand Rapids on Friday, including an event on the economy at a union facility and later a voter "mobilization” event with local Democrats. No decision has been made yet about whether he will still travel from Delaware.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tests negative for coronavirus
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tested negative for Covid-19 Friday morning, according to a Treasury Department spokesperson.
Secretary Mnuchin "tested negative for Covid-19 this morning and will continue to be tested daily," the department's spokesperson Monica Crowley said in a tweet.
Mnuchin, who has frequently been seen wearing a mask, has been heavily involved in talks with lawmakers to try to pass the latest round of coronavirus relief.
Biden wishes Trump, first lady a 'swift recovery'
Barr to get tested for Covid-19 after seeing Trump this weekend
Attorney General William Barr will get tested for Covid-19 out of an abundance of caution, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.
The last time Barr was with Trump was Saturday at the reception announcing Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. He is not experiencing any symptoms, the spokesman said.
Pence, who tested negative, interacted with Trump earlier this week
The last known public contact between Pence and Trump appeared to be an outdoor Rose Garden event on Monday. But at a campaign event in Lititz, Pennsylvania on Tuesday ahead of the presidential debate, Pence told an indoor crowd of supporters that he had spoken with the president in the Oval Office earlier that day.
"It's gonna be a great night. I can tell you, I left the president earlier today in the Oval Office and he's ready," Pence said Tuesday to a large crowd of mostly maskless supporters.
Chris Christie says no masks during Trump debate prep
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped Trump prepare for Tuesday's presidential debate, said that "no one" was wearing masks in the room during preparations.
"No one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping the president," he told ABC's "Good Morning America," adding that he "feels fine" and is not showing any signs of Covid-19.
He said on Twitter later Friday morning that he was tested for the virus on Tuesday and again on Friday morning and is waiting on his results.
Christie was one of many people who were in close contact with the president in the days leading to his Covid-19 diagnosis. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, also assisted with debate prep.