Speed Reads

COVID in the White House

Trump flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser, reportedly after learning Hope Hicks had COVID-19 symptoms

President Trump announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, hours after the White House confirmed that one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive. Hicks felt mild symptoms Wednesday evening and was quarantined on Air Force One as Trump and his entourage flew back to the White House from a rally in Minnesota. Hicks tested positive Thursday morning, The Washington Post and NBC News report, but Trump still flew to a fundraiser at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey:

An aide who saw Trump late Thursday said he seemed normal and did not show any symptoms, though he was aware of Hicks and her condition. ... After White House officials learned of Hicks' symptoms, Trump and his entourage flew to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser and delivered a speech. Trump was in close contact with dozens of other people, including campaign supporters at a roundtable event. [The Washington Post]

"Notably, when he traveled to Bedminster, Brian, he traveled with a smaller team," NBC News' Peter Alexander told Brian Willams early Friday. "What is striking, given that just 48 hours ago, Brian, the president was traveling to Cleveland and back, he was surrounded by a who's who of White House advisers, of Congress members," and several "family members."

"Hicks is among Trump's closest staffers and regularly enters the Oval Office multiple times a day, meeting with White House and campaign aides," the Post notes. "She has been spotted on multiple occasions without a mask, along with other top aides." MSNBC made a list of people Hicks has come in close contact with recently.

It isn't clear if anyone else in Trump's orbit has also tested positive in the most recent White House outbreak.