President Donald J. Trump leaves the White House for Walter Reed Medical Center at 6:16 p.m., Friday October 2nd. And that is about the only fact that is not in dispute about the president’s personal relationship with COVID-19.
The president tweets his diagnosis at 12:54 a.m. on Friday. Six hours earlier on Thursday October 1, Bloomberg news reports that presidential advisor Hope Hicks tests positive for coronavirus. The president tells Fox news’ Sean Hannity at 9:45 p.m. that he and the First Lady have begun a 14-day quarantine, given Hicks’ diagnosis. At 10:44 p.m., the White House officially acknowledges Hicks’ diagnosis with a tweet from the president.
In fact, Hicks has been diagnosed with coronavirus much earlier than the 2nd as has the president.
Reporters traveling with the president to a campaign rally in Duluth Minnesota on Wednesday September 30 report that Hicks first begins feeling coronavirus symptoms at the start of the 8 p.m. event. Hicks has travelled with the president on both Air Force One and Marine One on the 30th. She travels with the president and his family on Air Force One on the 29th for the presidential debate in Cleveland. Hicks quarantines on the return flight from Duluth.
Symptoms of coronavirus take at least 48 hours to appear, meaning Hicks is infected with coronavirus for the debate on the 29th and is at this time, with certainty, spreading the virus to others.
The president leaves for a fundraiser at his Bedminster Golf Club at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday October 1 and staff who had been near Hicks on the 30th are pulled from the trip. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows says that the administration learns of Hicks’ diagnosis just prior to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. But Hicks is most likely given the White House 15-minute coronavirus diagnostic test on Wednesday the 1st given her symptoms and her post-8 p.m. quarantine on that day.
Four days earlier, Hicks attends the large Rose Garden event announcing Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s choice to fill the seat of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
CDC reports that coronavirus symptoms appear 2 to 14 days following exposure to the virus. An infected person shed the virus to others two to three days prior to the onset of symptoms.
On Friday the 2nd, chief of staff Mark Meadows publicly describes the president as having “mild symptoms” from coronavirus. Early on Saturday the 3rd, Meadows says in an off-the-record talk with press pool reporters, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
Just prior to Meadow’s off-the-record statement to reporters, the president’s primary doctor at Walter Reed states publicly that the president’s diagnosis happened on Wednesday September 30th, one day earlier than the president has stated. The Wednesday diagnosis for the president means he is contagious and at peak for spreading the virus during the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday the 29th. It also suggests that the president was diagnosed with coronavirus prior to Hicks’ diagnosis.
The president spends the weekend prior preparing for Tuesday’s presidential debate with former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to the president Stephen Miller, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and political advisor Jason Miller. No one wears masks and five consequently test positive for coronavirus.
Also over the weekend, the president announces Amy Coney Barrett as his pick to fill the Supreme Court seat of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 150 people attend the event including Barrett’s husband and seven children, who sit with the first lady. Senators Thom Tillis and Mike Lee attend and subsequently test positive. In total, 22 congresspeople test positive for coronavirus including Ron Johnson, Rand Paul and Tom Rice. Fifteen are Republicans.
From Monday September 28 to Friday October 2, when the president is infected with coronavirus he maintains this schedule:
Updates nation on national coronavirus testing strategy in Rose Garden event and White House inspection of Lordstown Motors 2021 Endurance on Monday.
Debates Joe Biden in Cleveland presidential debate on Tuesday.
Campaigns in multiple Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota events on Wednesday.
Campaigns at fundraising event in Bedminster, New Jersey on Thursday.
Hosts COVID-19 support phone call at White House on Friday.
After which the president is taken to Walter Reed Medical Center later that day.
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