April 13, 2021

Trump held an indoor fundraiser with supporters even after White House officials knew Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19, reports say

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  • President Donald Trump attended an indoor fundraiser in New Jersey after White House officials learned his adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19, multiple reports said.
  • Trump attended the indoor fundraiser at his golf club at about 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
  • It’s unclear when Trump himself learned that Hicks had tested positive and whether he knew of her test result before traveling to the fundraiser.
  • The president told Fox News at about 9 p.m. EDT on Thursday that he got tested for the virus and was awaiting results. Bloomberg News broke the news about Hicks’ diagnosis about an hour earlier.
  • Early Friday morning, Trump announced that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for the virus.
  • Learn more about the race for a coronavirus vaccine in our live event on October 5. Sign up here.

President Donald Trump attended an indoor fundraiser with his supporters on Thursday even after White House officials knew that his adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, CNN and CBS News reported.

CBS News’ Weijia Jiang tweeted that Hicks was tested twice Wednesday and that White House aides knew about her diagnosis by the time of the fundraiser. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted that “a small group” of White House officials “were aware” of Hicks’ positive test by Thursday morning. The New York Times cited one source as saying the positive test came Thursday.

Trump attended a roundtable and fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday. It is not clear whether he wore a mask or practiced social distancing at the events. The coronavirus typically spreads via droplets from an infected person, and most infections occur indoors.

It’s unclear whether the president knew of Hicks’ positive test result before attending his New Jersey fundraiser.

Bloomberg News first reported Thursday evening that Hicks had tested positive for the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Shortly after, at about 9 p.m. EDT, Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that both he and Melania Trump had just been tested and were awaiting results.

The president tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. EDT on Friday that he and the first lady had tested positive and “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

According to CNN, Hicks was feeling coronavirus symptoms as early as Wednesday, when she traveled mask-less with the president and several White House and campaign aides to Minnesota for an indoor fundraiser and an outdoor rally.

She also traveled to Tuesday’s presidential debate in Ohio with Trump, his aides, and several family members aboard Air Force One on Tuesday.

Hicks was pictured not wearing a mask, and the president’s advisers and family — including Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle — were also mask-less for at least some of the debate.

CNN’s Collins reported that Hicks “started to quarantine” on Wednesday when she felt symptoms but that it’s not clear what that meant because “there’s not a lot of room” on Air Force One.

The White House has said its policy during the pandemic is that anyone who arrives to meet with the president is tested each morning.

It’s not clear whether the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was aware of the developments when she briefed reporters at the White House on Thursday without wearing a mask.

“The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” the White House spokesman Judd Deere told Business Insider.

“White House Operations collaborates with the physician to the president and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the president is traveling,” he added.

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