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President Trump Tests Positive For COVID-19: 6 Things We Know

President Trump

 Drew Angerer / Staff/ / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • They are self-isolating.
  • The President is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms, and has been given an experimental antibody treatment.

Early Friday morning, President Trump tweeted he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

While not much is known about the President’s condition, a White House statement from physician Sean P. Conley, DO, FACEP, says “the President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

By Friday afternoon, President Trump relocated to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Here’s what we know so far. 

Trump Has Mild Symptoms

While The New York Times reports President Trump is experiencing fever, congestion, and cough, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has only told reporters that the president is experiencing "mild symptoms."

He's Taking Experimental Medications

Friday evening, Conley stated in a memo that the President received an 8-gram injection of polyclonal antibodies produced by biotechnology company Regeneron. This "antibody cocktail" is not available to the general public. Regeneron was allowed to release the drug under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Compassionate Use Request.

In the same memo, Conley said the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.

Later Friday night, a separate White House statement from Conley said specialists elected to initiate remdesivir therapy on the President. This antiviral drug has Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, and several clinical trials are exploring its effectiveness against COVID-19.

Trump May Be Isolated for 10 Days

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with no COVID-19 symptoms who test positive should isolate themselves for 10 days from the date of their test result. If they develop symptoms, they will need to stay isolated for at least 10 days from the appearance of those symptoms. 

If Trump only needs to self-isolate for 10 days, he will still be able to participate in the second presidential debate on October 15 in Miami, Florida. 

Isolation vs. Quarantine

Even though we hear "quarantine" more than "isolate" (President Trump used the word "quarantine" in his tweet), the terminology depends on confirmation of COVID-19. People with confirmed cases COVID-19 need to be isolated, while people who may have been exposed to the virus need to quarantine. 

He Is Considered High-Risk

At 74 years old, President Trump’s age places him in the high-risk category for more severe COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, at 243 pounds, he is considered obese for his height, which compounds this risk. 

His Staff May Have Spread the Infection

While it’s unknown at this time exactly how President Trump contracted COVID-19, the announcement of his diagnosis comes hours after news that his advisor, Hope Hicks, tested positive. They traveled in Air Force One together earlier this week.

The President’s exposure risk is not low. Since the Republican National Convention in August, he has hosted several crowded rallies.

Trump Rarely Wears a Mask

President Trump rarely wears a mask in public. The first time he was seen wearing a mask publicly was during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in July, according to the Associated Press.

Masks are proven to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A recent study found that even homemade T-shirt masks block 94% of airborne droplets.

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Article Sources
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  1. NBC News. Read the letter from White House physician Dr. Sean Conley about Trump's Covid diagnosis. Updated October 2, 2020.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Isolate if you are sick. Updated August 12, 2020.

  3. Aydin O, Emon B, Cheng S, Hong L, Chamorro L, Saif M. Performance of fabrics for home-made masks against the spread of COVID-19 through droplets: A quantitative mechanistic study. Extreme Mech Lett. 2020;40:100924. doi:10.1016/j.eml.2020.100924