Trump's Covid contact: Who the president met before his diagnosis

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Trump's Covid contact: Who the president met before his diagnosisImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption White House interns cheer President Trump as he departed for the debate in Ohio on Tuesday

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis comes after a busy week running his administration and campaigning ahead of the 3 November election, during which time he has interacted with many high-level officials.

The president announced positive test results for himself and his wife, Melania, in a tweet on Friday, at around 01:00 local time (5:00 GMT).

This followed a positive diagnosis for his close aide, Hope Hicks, who reportedly started feeling symptoms on Wednesday and tested positive the next day.

It takes five days on average from the moment a person is infected for symptoms to start showing, but it can be much longer, so the World Health Organization advises a 14-day isolation period.

The peak infectious period for the virus is the day before symptoms appear and the two days after, although a large proportion of people never show any symptoms at all.

The White House says it has begun contact-tracing. Here is a look at some of the people we know Mr Trump has crossed paths with in the last week.

Saturday, September 26: The Supreme Court pick

President Trump announced his Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in front of a crowd of about 200 people on the White House lawn.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Trump with Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House ceremony

Since the ceremony, Judge Barrett has held meetings with various senators – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – ahead of her much-anticipated confirmation hearing, which is due to take place on 12 October.

Mrs Barrett said on Friday that she had tested negative.

On Saturday evening, President Trump held a rally at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, September 27: Golf and a veterans’ event

The president played golf at his club in Potomac Falls, Virginia, on Sunday morning and led a White House reception for the families of military veterans in the evening.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trumps also gave an address from the White House briefing room on 27 September

Monday, September 28: The Covid briefing

On Monday, President Trump held a news briefing – giving an update on his administration’s coronavirus testing strategy – in the White House Rose Garden.

It was attended by Vice-President Mike Pence, Health Secretary Alex Azar, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the chief executive of Abbott Laboratories, Robert Ford, among others.

Also on Monday, Trump viewed a model of a new pickup truck – being built at a factory in Ohio – on the White House lawn. Representatives from the company, Lordstown Motors, attended, as well as two members of Congress.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump and Mr Pence held the virus briefing in the White House Rose Garden

The White House regularly tests officials who come in contact with the president. However, US media has noted that mask-wearing and social distancing around him is less common, suggesting that people may be too reliant on the testing system, which is not foolproof.

Tuesday, September 29: Debate day

The president faced his election rival, Joe Biden, at their first face-to-face debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday evening.

President Trump flew there on his presidential plane, Air Force One, alongside his wife, adult children and multiple aides. Many were seen not wearing masks when boarding or disembarking, according to US media reports.

Also on the plane were: White House Chief of staff Mark Meadows; campaign strategist Jason Miller; policy adviser Stephen Miller; Robert C O’Brien, the national security adviser who tested positive for the virus in July; and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan.

After landing, the president’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, was spotted getting into a staff van with Ms Hicks, the New York Times reports.

The debate was held at Cleveland Clinic’s Health Education Campus, a shared facility with Case Western Reserve University.

The organisers, the Commission on Presidential Debates, brought in numerous Covid-era safety precautions. There were no handshakes between the two candidates and everyone attending – including the 80 or so audience members – was tested before the event and asked to wear masks throughout.

In the run-up, Mr Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, posted a picture of herself backstage in a mask, alongside her sister Tiffany, sister-in-law Lara and mother-in-law, Melania.

However, during the event itself, Ivanka Trump and other family members, including siblings Don Jr and Eric, were pictured mask-less. Moderator Chris Wallace has since told Fox News that they were offered masks by event staff but they waved them away.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Trump children watched the debate without masks, Melania Trump wore hers as she sat down but then removed it

Observers said those on Mr Biden’s side of the room kept their masks on.

Mr Trump and Mr Biden kept a distance during the debate, at podiums on opposite sides of the stage.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump and Mr Biden loudly spoke over each other throughout the contentious debate

When the candidates were greeted by the wives on stage afterwards, Jill Biden wore a mask and Melania Trump didn’t.

At a separate campaign event in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Vice-President Mike Pence said he had been in the Oval Office with President Trump earlier that day. It is thought to be their last in-person meeting. On Friday, Mr Pence said he and his wife had tested negative.

President Trump and much of his entourage flew back to Washington DC on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, September 30: A fundraiser and a rally

The day after the debate, President Trump was straight back into campaign business, flying to Minnesota on Air Force One. Ms Hicks was among those accompanying him.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Top Trump officials, including Hope Hicks (right), travelled with Mr Trump to Minnesota

He attended a closed-door fundraiser at a private home in Minneapolis, and he later held a large rally in at an airport in Duluth, in front of a crowd of thousands. Few wore masks but there was distance between them and the president.

Minnesota Congressman Kurt Daudt tweeted a picture of himself close to Mr Trump, with neither wearing masks.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The president speaks to supporters after landing in Minneapolis
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The president’s rally at Duluth airport

On Wednesday evening, Mr Trump and various aides returned to Washington DC on Air Force One again.

Ms Hicks, who was feeling unwell, was isolated in a separate cabin, according to US media. She reportedly disembarked from the back of the plane, instead of the front alongside the other passengers.

Thursday, October 1: More fundraising

President Trump flew to his Bedminster golf resort in New Jersey for a private fundraiser.

Several aides who were in proximity to Ms Hicks scrapped their plans to accompany the president, according to the Associated Press.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump took Air Force One to New Jersey

That night, in pre-taped remarks to the annual Al Smith dinner in New York City, held virtually this year, he said that “the end of the pandemic is in sight”.

Trump Covid: US president has mild symptoms – White House

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption“The end of the pandemic is in sight,” President Trump told a dinner on Thursday

Mr Trump later announced in a phone evening interview on Fox News that he and the first lady were being tested for the virus.

Though it is not known how many of his supporters he came into contact with in recent days, he told Fox presenter Sean Hannity that people were always wanting to get close to him. “They want to hug you, and they want to kiss you,” he said.

Friday, October 2: The announcement

President Trump announced that he and Mrs Trump had tested positive around 01:00 on Friday in a tweet, adding that they will begin the “quarantine and recovery process immediately”.

Just before 11:00, his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told reporters the president has “mild symptoms” but remains in “good spirits”.

Mrs Trump tweeted to say she also had mild symptoms.

Trump's Covid contact: Who the president met before his diagnosis 2

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe president has “mild symptoms” but will “remain on the job”, says White House chief of staff Mark Meadows

Source:BBC News – US & Canada


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