A little more than a month before the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump announced early Friday via Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus and have begun quarantining themselves.
In response, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted: “Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.”
It is unknown exactly how drastically the test result will affect the president’s campaign activities. For the time being Trump will not be traveling to rallies or fundraising events.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reassured reporters traveling with him Friday to Croatia that he is feeling fine and does not have COVID-19, noting he has been tested regularly.
“We are praying for the President and First Lady that they’ll have a speedy recovery,” Pompeo said.
Global markets fell following the news of Trump’s diagnosis.
Naoya Oshikubo, a senior economist with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management in Tokyo, told Reuters he was worried that Trump would “become even more aggressive against China” after contracting the virus. Oshikubo added, “I got the impression that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become more anti-China after he had COVID-19.” The coronavirus first emerged in China late last year.
Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas expressed concern, tweeting: “It’s not just a matter of the President’s personal health; it’s a matter of national security. This virus has claimed over 200k American lives in 6 months.”
More than 7.2 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first foreign leaders to send well wishes to the Trumps. Modi said on Twitter, “Wishing my friend @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS a quick recovery and good health.”
That sentiment was echoed by some of the president’s fiercest critics.
“We sincerely pray the President& the First Lady do not have the worst of this disease,” American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said on Twitter. “We must all pray for the full recovery of the President& his wife. For whatever religious or political persuasion you may be, we must all pray as millions of people are affected by this disease.”
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