Tuesday, October 20, 2020

White House Adviser Hope Hicks Tests Positive For Covid-19, Trump And First Lady Also Positive

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WASHINGTON — White House adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting quarantine for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who announced they also tested positive later Thursday night.

Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus after she traveled with Trump in the last few days, according to a person familiar with Hicks’ situation.

Trump tweeted that he and the first lady “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

Hicks is frequently in contact with the president and was with Trump as he traveled to and from the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday.

She appears in a photo deplaning upon arrival in Cleveland, not wearing a protective face mask. Hicks also traveled aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for a Minnesota rally Wednesday.

Trump said in a Thursday night interview on Fox News that he had just taken a coronavirus test and that he and the first lady “spend a lot of time with Hope, and others.”

Bloomberg reported that Hicks was experiencing some symptoms associated with the coronavirus, according to people close to her who were told.

Hicks is the latest of White House officials to test positive for the virus. Previously, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller had and recovered from COVID.

One of Trump’s longest-serving political aides, Hicks was part of the original presidential campaign team that launched in 2015.

After rising to the job of communications director, Hicks left the White House in 2018 and took a corporate executive job at Fox. In February, the White House announced that Hicks would return as counselor to the president and aide to senior adviser (and Trump son-in-law) Jared Kushner. She has played a key role in communications strategy as Trump seeks re-election.

White House spokesman Judd Deere would not comment on Hicks’ situation but issued a statement saying the administration is taking precautions based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. “The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”

Trump has come under fire for holding rallies that pose a risk of the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and infected more than 7.2 million. Experts say social distancing and mask-wearing are key to slowing the spread; neither are common at his rallies.

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