Melania Trump announces she has 'mild symptoms' of coronavirus
Posted October 2, 2020 12:04 p.m. EDT
CNN — First lady Melania Trump said Friday that she is experiencing "mild symptoms" but is "looking forward to a speedy recovery" following her Covid-19 diagnosis.
"Thank you for the love you are sending our way. I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery," Melania Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday, several hours after initially tweeting to confirm she had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In her first tweet, which came a little after 1 a.m. ET, Friday morning, the first lady said she and President Donald Trump, who also has Covid-19, "are feeling good," without mentioning that she had developed symptoms.
"As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together," she tweeted.
The first couple's 14-year-old son Barron Trump, a high school freshman whose Maryland private school is currently operating via remote learning, has been tested and does not have the virus at this time, according to the first lady's spokeswoman. "Barron has tested negative and all precautions are being taken to ensure he's kept safe and healthy," Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
The first lady's diagnosis is all the more indicative of how communicable the virus actually is. Of the first couple, Melania Trump has been the one to wear masks on a more regular basis.
In early April she became the first member of the administration to post a public photograph of herself wearing a face covering, advising the country to do the same in keeping with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Trump has for the most part, at least publicly, adhered to her own counsel, but has gone mask-less on several outings with the President in recent weeks.
At Tuesday night's Presidential debate in Ohio, the first lady was the only member of the Trump family in attendance to keep her mask on for the entirety of the event, however she did remove it to greet the President onstage after the debate ended.
A White House official told CNN the first lady kept her mask on during the Air Force One flight to and from Ohio and that "she stayed in her cabin," on the plane, referring to the private, enclosed quarters aboard the presidential aircraft. Yet the distance the official said Melania Trump placed between herself and the rest of those in the President's inner circle did little to protect her from exposure to the virus.
Prior to the debate, Trump attended the Saturday afternoon announcement of the President's new Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, an event attended by several dozen guests in the White House Rose Garden. Melania Trump did not wear a mask during the announcement, nor was she wearing one in photos she posted to her social media accounts of the meeting of Barrett and her family with the President and first lady in the Oval Office, prior to going out to the Rose Garden. On Sunday evening, pictures, again posted by Trump to her social media, indicate the first lady did not wear a mask, nor did she social distance, at a private White House ceremony indoors in the East Room honoring Gold Star families.
At 50 years old, the first lady is nearly a quarter of a century younger than her 74-year-old husband, and therefore not in the highest risk age category for severe symptoms, according to the CDC. That said, people aged 50-63 have a three times higher risk of being hospitalized with coronavirus and 30 times the risk of death compared to people 18 to 29. Trump has said she eats healthy food and exercises with frequency, practices that differ from the President, well-known for his penchant for fast food and lack of a regular exercise routine.
The first lady underwent a procedure in May 2018 for what the White House described as a benign kidney condition. The White House did not elaborate on the condition or the procedure, described as an embolization procedure. Such procedures involve guiding a tube into an artery to non-invasively choke off blood flow to growths or tumors. Little else is known about the first lady's general health. Unlike the President, a first lady is not required to share medical updates with the public, nor disclose any issues with her health.
"This is the first time in our history that both the first lady and the President of the United States have become sick with a potentially life-threatening disease," presidential historian Tim Naftali told CNN. "The challenge right now first of all is the first lady and the President get better."