Now that it’s confirmed that President Trump and First Lady Melania both tested positive for COVID-19, they’ve announced that they’ll be quarantining at the White House. Hope Hicks, who is most likely the person who transferred it to the pair, is also isolating and trying to recover. And this means that for now, all of his in-person events and commitments have been canceled — and it seems his doctor will be holding him to that. The President's physician Dr Sean Conley has assured the public that he’ll be making sure Trump gets adequate rest and will “maintain a vigilant watch,” giving the president ample opportunity to tweet at leisure and watch 9 hours of Fox & Friends uninterrupted.
But the president has vigilantly refused to take precaution for the months — and weeks — leading up to his diagnosis: Trump has been out and about on the campaign trail, hosting indoor rallies, and galvanising MAGA supporters to remain maskless, just like him. Cool!
Even in the past week alone, the president has been seen traveling across the United States and screaming at his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, in their first debate. While many are left wondering what will happen to the upcoming US election if Trump is no longer able to continue running, it might be worth looking at what will happen to all the people Trump interacted with before testing positive for COVID-19. Ahead, we've detailed a timeline of Donald Trump's whereabouts in the week leading up to his coronavirus diagnosis.
Monday 28th September
Trump appeared in the Rose Garden at 3.40pm just at the beginning of the week to discuss a new coronavirus testing strategy. At the event, he boasted that we are “rounding the corner” when it comes to defeating the disease. Vice President Mike Pence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and many health care professionals attended as well.
After his appearance to discuss COVID-19 testing, Trump headed back inside for debate prep, where he joined New Jersey Governor Christ Christie, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, his adviser Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, and others. This was just days before Hope Hicks’s diagnosis earlier this week, and it’s possible she was already infectious at this point.
Tuesday 29th September
On Tuesday afternoon around 2.30pm, Trump took to the skies on Air Force One with Melania to go to the US Presidential debate in Cleveland. His family joined him, with all the usuals including Jared Kushner, Ivanka, Lara, Eric, Tiffany, and Donald Trump Jr. in tow. Hicks was also there — but no word if anyone in the cohort was wearing masks or not. (We have some guesses, though!)
After his flight, Trump arrived at the debate hall and did a walkthrough of the debate stage without wearing a mask. Following the walkthrough, Trump stayed at his hotel until the debate.
On Tuesday night, Trump and his team headed to the Cleveland Clinic for his debate against Joe Biden. Though signs at the debate hall stated that people there were meant to wear masks and social distance, and officials at the event asked his cohort to wear masks and even offered some, none wore them.
As COVID-19 was one of the hot topics of the night, Trump started out the debate by mocking Biden for wearing a mask constantly. "He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen," Trump said. The president said goodbye to the debate hall and to Cleveland, and headed back on his merry way to Washington, DC. According to reports, Trump and Biden did not shake hands at the end of the debate.
Wednesday 30th September
Trump had a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the Oval Office in the morning, before going to meet with Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill. Mnuchin has tweeted that he wishes the president a full recovery, but no word on if he or Pelosi have tested for the virus.
Trump spent Wednesday early evening in Minnesota, first dropping in for a fundraiser in Minneapolis, and then in Duluth for a short, 45-minute campaign rally. The rally, though outdoors, was extremely crowded with most people not wearing masks.
After his stops in Minnesota, Trump headed back home around 10:20 p.m. with Hope Hicks on Air Force One. It was then that Hicks first started showing symptoms of coronavirus, according to officials, and isolated herself in a separate cabin from the president.
Thursday 1st October
Despite the fact that White House staff was totally aware of Hope Hicks’s positive diagnosis on Thursday, the president went through with his schedule as planned.
What else would you do if you thought it might be your last day out for a while? Well, President Trump traveled to his golf club in New Jersey for a fundraiser around 2.30pm. Later that night, after CNN reported that Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19, Trump of course called into Fox News to confirm the news.
Evening: Using his usual favourite method for big announcements, Trump took to Twitter to share the news himself. He tweeted just before 1am, saying, "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" Shortly after 1am, the White House released a memo from Dr Conley confirming the news.