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Trump adviser Hope Hicks tests positive for the coronavirus

President Donald Trump tells Americans to vote twice as lawmakers then warn voters that they will get arrested if they do so. (Photo: EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO / POOL)

Oct 1 (Reuters) - Hope Hicks, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the president confirmed in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, adding that he has been tested and may have to quarantine.

By Jeff Mason

Hicks travels regularly with the president on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, accompanied him to Ohio for the presidential debate on Tuesday and to Minnesota for a campaign event on Wednesday.

“She tested positive,” Trump said. “So whether we quarantine or whether we have it … I don’t know.”

Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had been tested for the virus again and would know the results later on Thursday or Friday. “I spend a lot of time with Hope, and so does the first lady. And she’s tremendous,” he said.

The president, who is tested regularly, has kept up a rigorous travel schedule across the country in recent weeks, holding rallies with thousands of people, despite warnings from public health professionals against having events with large crowds, in the run up to the Nov. 3 election.

Trump has come under sharp criticism for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States alone. The president has touted his management of the crisis.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has lambasted Trump for not having a clear national plan to tackle the pandemic. Biden, a former vice president, regularly wears a mask and has eschewed big campaign events. He is leading Trump in national polls.

Trump and his staff regularly do not wear masks, and Trump has denigrated people who wear them often. Health professionals say mask-wearing is one of the key things people can do to help prevent the spread of the virus.

At the White House, people who are around Trump, including some reporters, get tested on a regular basis. But the White House did away with daily temperature checks for everyone who enters the complex months ago, and people who are tested for the virus interact with others in the White House campus who are not.

The White House said in a statement that Trump “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously” and that it followed guidelines for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible.

Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, tested positive for the virus earlier this year and suffered from symptoms before recovering.

Trump said he was surprised that Hicks had tested positive.

“She knows there’s a risk, but she’s young,” he said.

Hicks returned to the White House earlier this year after a stint in the private sector. She served previously as White House communications director and as a spokeswoman for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Peter Morris says:

    The world needs compassion right now. Joe Biden has lived with tragedy and setbacks throughout his life. Overcoming a stutter and the tragic loss of his Wife, Daughter and later in life one of his surviving Sons, he is the perfect candidate to lead the USA right now. This should in time overflow into their foreign policies regarding hot spots throughout the globe. God bless our planet.

    • Sam Joubs says:

      You wrote a good piece but you had to spoil it by bringing your god into it. It’s now required to bless the planet after allowing it to get to where it is? Really?

  • Nick Miller says:

    One shouldn’t say it but what a wonderful irony that Trump and the First Lady have now also tested positive!

  • Chris 123 says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if he died of COVID-19. We can only hope.

  • Colleen Dardagan says:

    The American election is a farce and Americans have poor choice in their candidates. I think it is fair to say that people around the world have lost interest and faith in their leaders/politics and SA is no exception.

  • Bruce Danckwerts says:

    I’m afraid Trump brings out the cynicism in me. I don’t know the timetable of the next Presidential Debate, but I cannot help wondering whether this Covid-19 Quarantine is just a ploy to prevent him from making another spectacle of himself?
    Bruce Danckwerts, CHOMA, Zambia

  • Antoinette Jurgens says:

    When I first heard that he had tested positive, I was doubtful. I wouldn’t put it past Trump to fake being positive to get out of another debate with Joe, as he fared so poorly in the first debate. He can then also be “cured” quickly and boast that he was right all along that corona is just like the flu. With this man, you never know.

  • Sam Joubs says:

    Bruce, Antoinette, exactly my thoughts, especially after reading this closing paragraph from another news article…

    During times of national turmoil, the American public tends to rally in support of the president. It may not be enough to insulate him from the questions that follow, however.

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