Trump Begins Quarantine As His Advisor Hicks Tested COVID-19 Positive
United States (US) President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had started a quarantine process as one of the top advisors of the president, Hope Hicks was tested COVID-19 positive. As Reuters reported, Hicks often travels with the president on Air Force One along with other senior aides, she was spotted accompanying the president for Ohio’s presidential debate on Tuesday and Minnesota’s campaign event the next day.
Several leaders and scientists criticized Trump’s disbelief since he overlooked the gravity or impact of the pandemic, which has killed over 200,000 people in the US alone. Trump and his staff were often reportedly seen without masks despite health professionals’ warning to wear one to curb the virus spread.
Meanwhile, Trump expressed he was surprised to know that Hicks was tested positive even though people around Trump including media reporters at the White House get tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis. Nevertheless, the White House dropped the process of daily temperature checks for everyone entering the compound a few months back.
Trump’s Statement on Hicks’ Positive
Following the news of Hicks’ confirmed COVID-19 positive, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday, October 1, 2020, “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for COVID-19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!” The president added, “I spend a lot of time with Hope, and so does the first lady. And she’s tremendous.”
Hicks’ incident raised concerns that Trump and his immediate circle, which includes people at the top levels of the U.S. government, might have been exposed to the virus infection. Earlier, Trump said in an interview on Fox News, he and his wife had been tested for the virus and would get the results on Thursday or Friday.
Trump said on the News, “She knows there’s a risk, but she’s young,” reflecting his astonishing views on Hicks’ COVID-19 positive. Hicks previously served as White House communications director and was a key spokeswoman for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
A Blow to Trump’s Election Campaign?
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is competing Trump in the November 3 election, has attacked the president over the lack of a proper national plan to tackle the pandemic and ignoring health professionals’ advice. The former vice-president is leading the national polls and has been avoiding campaign events with a large crowd considering the potential threat of the pandemic spread.
Meanwhile, the president was seen traveling regularly across the country in recent weeks in holding rallies with thousands of people and involved in various election campaigns despite the health experts’ warnings.
The White House said in a statement that the president “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously” besides following the COVID-19 guidelines. As the election is nearly a month away, the quarantine process would be a big challenge for Trump’s campaign and if he is tested positive, it would become a huge blow to his election strategy.