CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus USA: which people close to Trump have tested positive for Covid-19?

At least three Republican senators have tested positive for Covid-19 and others are in quarantine following president Donald Trump’s diagnosis and hospitalisation.

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Coronavirus USA: which people close to Trump have tested positive for Covid-19?
JOSHUA ROBERTS REUTERS

Since U.S. president Donald Trump was diagnosed as having contracted Covid-19 and his subsequent hospitalisation on Friday, at least three Republican senators, top aides and family members have tested positive for the virus while a number of others are self-isolating as a precaution.

Trump's schedule over the past week

In the week before he tested positive, Trump had been busy with his campaign trail, attending at least six events including fundraising events in New Jersey and Minnesota as well as the first televised presidential debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio. So there are have been numerous occasions when Trump could have unwittingly infected some of those in his immediate circle.

On Monday 28 September, Trump gave a press briefing at the Rose Garden, among those in attendance were vice-president Mike Pence. The following day he flew to Cleveland for his first head-to-head with Biden, accompanying him on board Air Force One was aide Hope Hicks, who tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Neither Trump nor Biden wore masks during the 90-minute debate although both men were several metres apart.

The president’s busy schedule continued on Wednesday 30th with a private fundraising event in Minneapolis and an outdoor rally in Duluth, Minnesota. This was the day when Hicks complained of feeling unwell. The next day, Thursday 1 October, Hicks’ positive test was confirmed while Trump flew to his Bedminster golf course in New Jersey for another fundraiser. Just before 13:00 hours on Friday 2 October, Trump posted a tweet to announce that he had caught the virus. A few hours later he was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center where he remains receiving treatment.

Who has tested positive?

Apart from Trump, First Lady Melania and Hope Hicks, other members of the president’s inner circle or those who were in close contact with him who have since tested positive.

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway revealed that she tested positive on Friday – one week after attending last Saturday’s Rose Garden event when Trump announced his Supreme Court pick. Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis both confirmed on Friday that they have returned positive tests for coronavirus.

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson became the third GOP senator to be confirmed positive for coronavirus. It is believed that he was exposed to an infected person earlier in the week. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was informed that her test had come back positive on Wednesday. She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday. Campaign manager Bill Stepien found out that he has tested positive for the virus on Friday night.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who was involving in briefing Trump before the televised debate with Biden has also tested positive and is taking remdesivir but apart from a slight fever and fatigue is feeling fine.

Those in Trump’s circle who have tested negative

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence both tested negative for coronavirus in two separate tests on Friday and Sunday, according to Devin O'Malley. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s test came back negative but he will be tested on a daily basis. Attorney General William Barr was in the same room as Trump last Saturday but tested negative on Friday morning and again yesterday.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has tested negative for Covid-19 three times in the past seven days and has not been in close contact with President Trump or the First Lady recently. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not been in contact with Trump since mid-September and has been travelling abroad for much of the two weeks since then, he has tested negative.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill both underwent PCR tests on Friday morning, just hours before Trump announced he had the virus. The results of their tests came back negative.