Celebrities and world leaders have mixed reactions upon finding out President Trump and first lady Melania have tested positive for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump announced early Friday that he and first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for COVID-19.
Since then, the White House has sent mixed signals about his condition and the timeline of events leading up to his diagnosis and transfer to the hospital.
White House physician and Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley said Sunday that President Donald Trump continues to improve in his battle against COVID-19 and could be discharged.
“There are frequent ups and downs … particularly when a patient is being so closely watched 24 hours a day,” said Conley. “If he continues to look and feel as well as he does today our hope is that we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House, where he can continue his treatment course.”
Meanwhile, aides sought to portray an image of business as usual despite lingering uncertainty over the severity of his case.
After an update on Trump’s health at a news conference Saturday, an administration official – later identified by the Associated Press and the New York Times as chief of staff Mark Meadows – met with reporters and described the president’s condition earlier in the week as “very concerning.”
Events are still unclear, but some details were compiled by USA TODAY after examining reports by the White House pool of reporters, as well as Trump’s recent schedules.
Friday, Sept. 25 – week before diagnosis
11:11 a.m. EDT: Trump attends Latinos for Trump roundtable
First on the president’s schedule Friday was a Latinos for Trump roundtable in Doral, Florida. Trump arrived Thursday night after a rally in Jacksonville.
3:08 p.m. EDT: Trump speaks on Black Empowerment
Trump traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to speak at the Cobb Galleria Centre. There, he spoke on Black empowerment and unveiled a new plan, dubbed the Black Economic Empowerment “Platinum Plan,” aimed at winning over Black voters ahead of the November election.
4:26 p.m. EDT: Traveling back to Washington
6:29 p.m. EDT: Trump hosts fundraiser in Washington
Trump attended a fundraiser event at his hotel in Washington, D.C. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who was at the function, has since reported her coronavirus-positive status.
8:48 p.m. EDT: Trump hosts rally in Newport News, Virginia
Around 4,000 people gathered at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Friday night for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally.
Saturday, Sept. 26
5:04 p.m. EDT: Trump attends Rose Garden event, officially nominates Amy Coney Barrett
After meeting with Evangelical Faith Leaders, the president attends a Rose Garden event, where he officially nominated federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
The event, held in the Rose Garden with roughly 200 attendees, most without masks and few practicing social distancing, is considered a possible “super spreader event.” At At least seven of the attendees and Trump have tested positive:
- First lady Melania Trump
- Former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway
- GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah
- GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina
- The Rev. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame University
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
- A White House journalist
In one video, Lee, who disclosed his positive test result on Friday, is seen hugging at least two other attendees. Other images show guests shaking hands and chatting in close proximity. Lee was seated directly behind Vice President Mike Pence at the event. Tillis was seated directly behind U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
7:51 p.m. EDT: Trump hosts rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania
After the event, Trump heads to Middletown, Penn. where he hosted a campaign rally on the tarmac at Harrisburg International Airport. Rally photos show aide Hope Hicks, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus Thursday, cheering from the sidelines. They both headed back to Washington after the rally.
Sunday, Sept. 27
The president had no public events on his schedule, but did prep for Tuesday’s debate in the morning, and attended a Gold Star Family Ceremony at the White House with the first lady. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped with debate prep, tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday.
5:31 p.m. EDT: Trump holds press briefing at the White House
During the briefing, Trump denied a report by the New York Times that he paid $750 in US income taxes.
Monday, Sept. 28
11:02 a.m. EDT: Trump gives remarks on Lordstown Motors
Trump appeared outside the White House for a photo opportunity in front of a Lordstown Motors 2021 endurance truck, an electric pickup truck made in Ohio. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Peter Navarro, a senior trade adviser to the president, were present for the event.
3:43 p.m. EDT: Trump issues update on US coronavirus testing strategy
The president outlined an update on the nation’s coronavirus testing strategy in the Rose Garden, announcing 150 million Abbott rapid point-of-care tests would be sent out across the nation.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke. American health policy consultant Seema Verma, Education secretary Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar were seated in the first row. White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas and Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir were in the second row.
Tuesday, September 29
2:16 p.m. EDT: Trump leaves White House for debate in Cleveland
2:37 p.m. EDT: Air Force One departs from Joint Base Andrews
Trump left Washington and headed to Ohio for the first presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden. Per press reports, Hicks, Trump family members Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, and advisor Kim Guilfoyle, boarded Air Force One with Trump.
Trump landed in Cleveland, Ohio, at 3:31 pm.
8:32 p.m. EDT: Motorcade arrives for the debate
Trump arrived at the debate venue at Cleveland Clinic’s Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion for the first time at 4:23 p.m. It was then that he should have been tested for the virus, but, according to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate on Sept. 29 in Ohio, the timing of Trump’s arrival meant that there was insufficient time for Trump to get tested and receive a result.
A coronavirus test made by Abbott, a U.S. health care company, can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes. However, the test may return a high rate of false negatives. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on Wallace’s allegation.
Trump made several pit stops before arriving for the debate. After leaving the debate venue at 4:42 p.m., Trump headed to the InterContinental Suites Hotel in Cleveland, staying there until he left for the debate at 8:28 p.m.
9:05 p.m. EDT: Debate begins
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden went head to head in their first debate of the general election.
Approximately 100 people were in attendance. Hicks, various members of the Trump family, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, all attended and were seen at various points of the debates without masks.
Another person who accompanied Trump to the debate, White House aide Nick Luna, the president’s personal attendant, also has tested positive since the event, according to multiple reports.
After the debate ended at 10:30 p.m., Trump headed back to Washington, taking off from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport around 11:15 pm.
Wednesday, September 30
2:43 EDT: Trump leaves White House for Minnesota, arriving in Minneapolis at 5:08 p.m.
5: EDT: Trump attends private fundraiser at Minnesota home
Trump traveled from Washington to Minnesota, participating in a private fundraising reception at the Shorewood home of Martin Davis.
8:59 EDT: Trump holds rally in Duluth
Trump then traveled to Duluth Airport to host a Make America Great Again rally. A City of Duluth official told local ABC affiliate WBIO the rally had about 3,000 people who were mostly maskless.
Luna also traveled aboard Air Force One on the Minnesota trip. Hicks was also aboard because she had tested negative for COVID-19 that morning, a person familiar with the situation said.
She then reported feeling ill and isolated herself on Air Force One on the way back to Washington at 10:02.
Thursday, October 1– day before diagnosis
2:33 p.m. EDT: Trump arrives at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey
In his only event of the day, the president participated in a roundtable event with supporters and a fundraising reception at his golf club in Bedminster.
It was after this event that Bloomberg reported Hicks was experiencing symptoms associated with the coronavirus. Officials apparently learned of Hicks’ positive test as Marine One was taking off for the trip.
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.” He and the first lady tested positive later Thursday night.
Contributing: John Fritze, USA TODAY, Christal Hayes, USA TODAY.
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