Barack said he and Michelle Obama "want to extend our best wishes" to the Trumps during a virtual fundraiser on Friday

By Sean Neumann
October 02, 2020 10:09 PM
Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump
| Credit: getty images (3)

Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are sending their best wishes to Donald and Melania Trump after the president announced he and his wife tested positive to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Clinton, 74, posted on Twitter late Friday wishing the Trumps and all those exposed to the potentially deadly virus a speedy recovery.

"We wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery, and hope for the safety of the White House staff, the Secret Service, and others putting their lives on the line. This pandemic has affected so many. We must continue to protect ourselves, our families, and communities," Clinton wrote.

On Friday, as Trump underwent a dramatic turn of health, Barack spoke supportively of the president's personal health.

"Michelle and I want to make sure that we acknowledge the president and the first lady at this difficult time," Barack reportedly added.

Barack said he and former first lady Michelle Obama hope the president and others infected by COVID-19 "are getting the care they need."

"Although we’re in the midst of a big political fight, and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States, the First Lady," Barack, 59, reportedly said during a virtual fundraising event with Democratic running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, and actor Michael B. Jordan.

The former president's comments were first reported by NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett on social media. The event was closed to campaign donors.

"It's important, I think, for all of us to remember that even when we're in the midst of big political battles with issues that have a lot at stake, that we’re all Americans and we’re all human beings," Barack reportedly said, "and we want to make sure everybody is healthy."

Marine One, the presidential helicopter, arrives at the White House to carry President Donald Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.
| Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Barack's well-wishes came almost simultaneously as Trump was flown from the White House on Marine One to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center hospital, where officials say the 74-year-old president was being taken "out of an abundance of caution."

President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama walk together on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017

Trump has lashed out at Barack in recent years, leveraging racist attacks about the first Black president's birthplace while routinely blaming the former administration for his own struggles in managing the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Barack initially sought to avoid a contentious relationship with Trump, leaving his successor a welcome note on the president's Resolute Desk at the White House on Inauguration Day, when Trump took office on January 20, 2017.

But after continued attacks from Trump, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Barack began pointing out Trump's flaws in the spring amid his criticized response to the pandemic.

Then President-elect Donald Trump sits with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in November 2016, shortly after Trump won the 2016 election.

More than 207,000 people in the U.S. had died from COVID-19 when Trump announced he and the first lady had tested positive, joining 7.3 million other Americans who have contracted the virus, according to a New York Times tracker.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.