Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity during a live interview Thursday night that he and the first lady were being tested after learning about Hicks and waiting for the results.
“She tested positive and I just took a test. . . So whether we are under quarantine or whether we have it, I do not know, “said Trump. “So I just did a test and we’ll see what happens. Who knows? . . . We spend a lot of time with Hope so we’ll see what happens. “
Trump later tweeted that he and the first lady, “In the meantime … we will begin our quarantine process.”
Trump suggested Hicks could have contracted it from members of the military or law enforcement agencies. “It’s very, very hard when you’re with people in the military or law enforcement and they come over and want to hug you and kiss you because we did a really good job of them,” Trump said. “You get closer and things happen. I was surprised to hear from Hope, but she is a very warm person with them. She knows there is a risk, but she is young. “
Hicks traveled with the President to a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, to Cleveland for the first presidential debate on Tuesday, and to another rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.
She was photographed without a mask at the rally in Pennsylvania when she clapped the villagers’ “YMCA” with other Trump aides and in Cleveland on the tarmac of Air Force One.
A person familiar with the situation said Hicks was quarantined on the Minnesota plane Wednesday night after showing mild symptoms. She tested positive on Thursday morning.
Hicks has been in close contact with the Trump campaign and White House officials, and Aides said the contact tracing process began Thursday.
Trump, not wearing a mask or promoting social distancing, is often seen in close proximity to his entourage, who also fail to follow the precautions of public health experts.
“The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who stands up for him and the American people very seriously,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. “White House Operations are working with the President’s Doctor and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices to address COVID-19 exposure on both complex and complex.” limit as much as possible on the President’s travels. ”
Hicks is the oldest White House adviser known to have tested positive. Vice President Pence’s spokeswoman Katie Miller caught the virus in May and Kimberly Guilfoyle, CFO of the Trump campaign and friend of the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., caught the virus in July. Before Hicks, the oldest White House security officer to test positive was National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien in late July.
Trump has been criticized for refusing to promote the widespread use of masks. According to figures from public health leaders in his own administration, this would greatly reduce the spread of the contagious virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
The White House administers daily coronavirus tests for aides, reporters, and anyone else who comes in contact with the president. However, public health experts warn that they are not foolproof and that masks and social distancing are still the best protection against the virus.
Trump has led large rallies and events in recent days at which he and executives have not worn masks. Masks have been less common in the west wing and on board Air Force One in recent weeks. On a recent flight, they barely carried Trump employees consistently.
During the debate on Tuesday, Trump was urged to insist on major campaign events where no one has to wear face coverings or social distancing.
“We had no ill effects and we had 35 to 40,000 people at some of these rallies,” Trump said.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shot back. “He’s been completely irresponsible in the way he handled social distancing and has basically encouraged people who wear masks not to,” he said. “He’s a fool.”
“If you could get the amount, you would have done the same,” Trump said. “But you can’t. Nobody cares.”