US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, adding that both of them were now self-isolating. This came moments after it emerged that one of his close aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the virus. The tweet by Trump adversely impacted the stock markets globally.
Trump tweeted, “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Earlier, Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus. She had travelled with Trump in his Air Force One plane for his first Presidential TV debate. Trump had tweeted, “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!”
Trump testing positive for coronavirus means that he will not return to the campaign trail for now. His next TV debate is scheduled to be held in the next 13 days and the voting for the Presidential elections next month.
Stock markets across the world fell following the announcement. According to CNN, Dow (INDU) futures were down 445 points, or 1.6%, roughly matching their initial move lower after Trump tweeted his condition. S&P 500 (SPX) futures were down 1.7% and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were down 2.3%.
In the event that the 74-year-old US President’s condition deteriorates his powers will be transferred to Vice President Mike Pence in the interim until the Republican National Committee re-elect their new Presidential candidate for the next month’s elections.
According to Sky News, it is a requirement for the RNC to re-elect their new presidential candidate and so it would not automatically fall to the current vice president Mike Pence, although he would constitutionally be required to fill the role of president in the interim period.
According to Trump’s most recent health examination, he weighed 244lbs (110.7kg), which falls in the category of obese for his height of 1.9m (6ft 3ins), reported the BBC.