The personal physician to President Donald Trump has provided update on the American leader’s coronavirus test as well as his current health status.
In a memorandum for White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, on Friday, Physician Sean Conley said he had “permission” to release information on the development.
“I release the following information with permission of President Doanld J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump,” Mr Conley said.
“This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.
“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”
Mr Trump had earlier on Friday announced that he and his wife tested positive for the virus that has now killed over 208,000 Americans eight months after he first claimed that COVID-19 was “a new hoax’ by members of the Democratic party.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!,” he announced on his Twitter page.
Since February, the president has stoked controversy in his changing stances on the virus, from outright denials to the downplaying of the impact and contagiousness of the disease that has now been contracted by over seven million Americans.
Alongside the Republican party, the president has consistently contradicted medical experts on the handling of the virus.
Against regulations of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the president has continued to hold mass rallies, with optional mask-wearing and zero-adherence to social distancing requirements.
Just this week during the presidential debates, President Trump defended his decision to keep holding rallies in spite of the risk to his supporters.
In his responses to questions about mask wearing, the president implied that himself and his team had gotten tested just this Tuesday before the event.
When compared to Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s decision to hold smaller campaign events, respecting social distancing rules, President Trump said that holding events in the open air was safe.
He also mocked the former vice-president for his constant use of face masks.
“I wear a mask when needed. I don’t wear a mask like him [Joe Biden]. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” the president said.
“Masks make a big difference. His own head of CDC said it… if everyone wore masks and social distanced between now and January, we’d probably save up to a hundred thousand lives,” Mr Biden responded.
President Trump claimed that Mr Biden was holding smaller rallies because: “nobody would show up. No one shows up to his events.”
The president further claimed that he was holding large rallies because of demand.
“People want to hear what I have to say. I’ve done a great job as a president. And I have 25, 35 thousand people show up at airports…So far, we have had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside, that’s the big difference. We have tremendous crowds at 24 hours’ notice. And Joe does the circuit and has three people sometimes.”
The president said in response to concerns that he was putting people at risk in these large rallies.
There are no indications of whether the president has any of the typical symptoms of the disease.
Earlier on Thursday, a senior member of his staff, Hope Hicks, tested positive to the virus, sending panic through the president’s team.
It is not clear if any other member of his staff or family have tested positive for the virus.