Trump suggests he could quarantine after prime aide Hope Hicks checks constructive for coronavirus
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest aides, has tested positive for the coronavirus, and the president suggested he may quarantine.
After NBC News and other outlets reported on Hicks’ positive test, Trump himself confirmed it Thursday night in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. He also said that he had just been tested and was awaiting results either Thursday night or Friday.
“She did test positive. She is a hard worker, a lot of masks, she wears masks a lot. She tested positive. I just went out with the test, we will see,” Trump said. “We spend a lot of time, the first lady just went and got a test also. Whether we quarantine, whether we have, we don’t know.”
Hicks, who has been known to spend a lot of time with Trump, had traveled with the president to the debate Tuesday night in Cleveland. She was seen not wearing a mask.
Trump, 74, himself rarely wears a mask and has mocked his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, 77, for often wearing face coverings.
The Trump campaign referred questions to the White House. The White House didn’t comment on reports that Hicks had tested positive, but a spokesman issued a statement about the administration’s Covid-19 protocols.
“The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” Judd Deere, the spokesman, said in a statement. “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.”
Hicks’ positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News, which cited people familiar with the matter. The Associated Press also reported it, citing an official. Bloomberg also reported that Hicks had traveled with Trump to a rally Wednesday night in Minnesota.
The New York Times reported that the White House knew about Hicks’ condition Wednesday night, and that she is under quarantine.
The latest revelation comes as coronavirus cases reach nearly 7.23 million in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Worldwide, the virus has infected about 34 million and killed more than 1 million. At least 206,971 have died in the U.S.
Hicks, 31, is among the highest-ranking people in Trump’s orbit to have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
In July, Trump’s national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, tested positive for the coronavirus. At the time, the White House said that O’Brien was experiencing “mild symptoms” and was “self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site.”
“There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted,” the White House said in a July statement.
Other administration officials have previously been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
In May, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for Covid-19, as did a personal valet for Trump, who is responsible for serving the president his meals.
Hicks, one of Trump’s favorite aides and a former White House communications director, rejoined the administration earlier this year to work as an assistant to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor. Between her White House stints, she landed some lucrative gigs, including a top role at Fox News parent Fox Corp.