CLEVELAND — Spectrum News continues to follow the latest developments surrounding President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump testing positive for COVID-19.
Early Friday, Trump tweeted he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 and began quarantining immediately. The White House describes their symptoms as “mild.”
Trump was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital Friday evening as a precautionary measure, due to his age and other factors that have been proven to enhance the negative effects of COVID-19. On Saturday, doctors gave an update, saying the president was in good spirits and has been fever-free for 24 hours.
The news comes days after Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden went head to head in person for the first time this election season in Cleveland.
“You have to understand if you look, I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it. Tonight is an example—everybody’s had a test, and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to, but I wear masks when needed. When needed, I wear masks," Trump said during Tuesday night's debate.
Just a few days later, he and the First Lady tested positive for the virus.
The news came hours after Trump's top aide Hope Hicks tested positive. Hicks traveled with the president several times this week, including to the debate in Cleveland, and reportedly displayed symptoms Wednesday evening.
Many of the events Trump planned to have are now on hold, and some have been canceled, like his rally that was supposed to be in Orlando Friday.
The Commission on Presidential Debates selected the Cleveland Clinic as the health advisor for all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate.
Several reports indicate that Trump’s family and advisors acted against debate rules and didn't wear masks after entering the debate room Tuesday. Reportedly, a Cleveland Clinic doctor offered to get masks to them, which they declined.
Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics called the behavior “terrible.”
“I don’t think he was necessarily setting a good example for the country and it just goes to show that if you don’t take this thing seriously it can happen to anyone even the president who is arguably the most guarded person in the entire world," said Kondik.
The Cleveland Clinic released a statement in reaction Friday. It reads:
“Our thoughts are with the President, First Lady and all of our guests. As health advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site, we had requirements to maintain a safe environment that align with CDC guidelines- including social distancing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks and masking. Most importantly, everyone permitted inside the debate hall tested negative for COVID-19 prior to entry. Individuals traveling with both candidates, including the candidates themselves, had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns.
Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests. Out of an abundance of caution we are reaching out to our guests to address any questions and concerns. We will continue to monitor the information being released by the White House.”
Multiple leaders who are known to have been around the president this week have already been tested, including several lawmakers from Ohio: Sen. Rob Portman, Rep. Mike Turner and Rep. Jim Jordan, who all tested negative.
Since then, other Ohio lawmakers who attended the debate have also gotten tested. So far, almost all negatives. One lawmaker, Rep. Joe Miller, announced on Twitter he tested positive, but he believes he contracted the virus somewhere in Lorain County or Columbus.