There are many questions and few answers after President Donald Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.
One thing is for sure: The ripple effects from Trump’s diagnosis are extensive.
The president said he and the first lady will isolate following their confirmed positive coronavirus test. That means Trump’s visit to Florida on Friday for a scheduled Make America Great Again rally is off. He was also scheduled for a roundtable with supporters in Washington on Friday. That is now canceled.
Only one event now remains on Trump’s schedule for Friday: A phone call on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors
Also, senior Trump aide Hope Hicks is isolating at home after she is confirmed to have the virus. It is unclear if other staffers who were in contact with Hicks and the president have also come down with the virus. Both Trump and Hicks were seen on Wednesday in Marine One in close contact with other staffers including Jared Kushner.
With a now confirmed outbreak of the coronavirus inside the White House, a number of senior staffers, Secret Service agents, aides and others may be required to quarantine. How the White House will function with a president in isolation and senior staff in quarantine remains in question.
But the president’s physician showed optimism that Trump can continue his duties as president.
Dr. Sean Conley said, “Rest assured, I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”
The CDC says that for those with confirmed coronavirus cases, isolation is necessary for 10 to 20 days.
“For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms,” the CDC said. “A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending duration of isolation and precautions for up to 20 days after symptom onset; consider consultation with infection control experts.”
There are also questions on how this impacts Joe Biden’s campaign. Biden shared a stage with Trump on Tuesday, and senior staff of both candidates sat in the audience for Tuesday’s debate.
Also, questions on what role Vice President Mike Pence will be forced to play in the coming weeks is in question.