The president announced on Twitter that he and his wife have contracted the virus

By Chelsea White
October 02, 2020 01:08 AM
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Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Just hours after it was confirmed the president's adviser Hope Hicks had the contagious virus, the president, 74, announced he too had tested positive.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after midnight Friday.

Mrs. Trump, 50, tweeted minutes later that she and her husband were "feeling good."

"As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19," she wrote. "We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together."

From left: First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump at the first debate with Joe Biden, on Tuesday
| Credit: Win McNamee/Getty

The White House has canceled all of the president's scheduled engagements for Friday except for a phone call on COVID-19 support for vulnerable seniors.

The White House doctor, Sean Conley, said in a memo released to reporters that the first couple is "well at this time and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."

"Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments," Conley added.

President Trump had spoken publicly about Hicks' positive test result on Thursday evening, telling Fox News it was a "terrible thing."

Trump added then that both he and the first lady had been tested and were expecting their results shortly. "So whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don't know," he said.

The president said he thought Hicks may have contracted the virus by interacting with members of law enforcement or the military.

First Lady Melania Trump
| Credit: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images
Eric, Ivanka, Melania Tiffany and Donald Trump Jr. at the first presidential debate
| Credit: JIM WATSON/Getty Images

"But it’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you, they want to hug and they want to kiss you because we really have done a  good job for them, you get close and things happen," he said.

"I was surprised to hear with Hope but she’s a very warm person with them and she knows there is a risk."

The former public relations consultant, 31, traveled with Trump as recently as Wednesday to his campaign rally in Minnesota. She was also on Air Force One with Trump when he traveled to the presidential debate against Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday.

(The Biden campaign has not yet responded to the overnight news about the president's diagnosis or said if Biden will take additional precautions, though he has said before he has been tested for the virus.)

Donald Trump at Tuesday's debate
| Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In a tweet posted after his Fox interview, Trump said that both he and the first lady would be quarantining together as they awaited the results of their COVID-19 tests: "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!"

When asked by PEOPLE about Hicks' positive test and Trump's possible exposure Thursday, White House spokesman Judd Deere did not have a comment, instead issuing the following statement:

"The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously. White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling."

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More than 7.3 million people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 200,000 people across the country have died from the virus, according to The New York Times' database.

Despite health experts' repeated recommendations to wear masks to prevent the virus' spread, Trump seldom wears one in public. At Tuesday's debate, he mocked his rival for how often Biden is seen with a face covering.

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 GoFundMe.org 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.