- 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.
- According to CBS News, a small group of officials knew on Wednesday evening that Hicks had tested positive.
- Trump attended the indoor fundraiser at his golf club around 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
- It’s unclear when Trump himself learned that Hicks had tested positive and if he knew of her test result before traveling to the fundraiser.
- The president told Fox News around 9 p.m. EDT Thursday that he got tested for the virus and was awaiting results. Bloomberg News broke the news about Hicks’ diagnosis about an hour earlier.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
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 tested positive on Wednesday, and that White House aides knew about this by Wednesday evening. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted that “a small group” of White House officials “were aware” of Hicks’ positive test by Thursday morning.
Trump attended a roundtable and fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday. It is not clear if he wore a mask or practiced social distancing at the events. The coronavirus typically spreads via droplets from an infected person, and a majority of infections occur indoors.
Bloomberg News first reported Thursday evening that Hicks had tested positive for the virus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Shortly after, around 9 p.m. EDT, Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that both he and First Lady Melania Trump had just been tested and were awaiting results.
The president tweeted shortly before 1 a.m. EDT Friday that he and Melania had tested positive and “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”
According to CNN, Hicks was feeling symptomatic 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, Laura Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle — were also mask-less for at least some if not the whole time during 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 means because “there’s not a lot of room” on Air Force One.
The White House has said that its policy during the pandemic is that every morning, anyone who arrives to meet with the president is tested.
It’s not clear if the president was tested when Hicks and other White House officials learned of her diagnosis — and if he knew of her positive test result before attending his New Jersey fundraiser — or after it was reported in the media.
It’s also not clear if the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was aware of the developments when she briefed reporters at the White House 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,” 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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