Hope Hicks, Senior Trump Adviser, Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Hope Hicks, certainly one of President Trump’s most senior advisers, has examined optimistic for the coronavirus, three folks aware of the matter stated.

Ms. Hicks is the closest identified individual to the president to have contracted the virus, which causes Covid-19. That an adviser with such proximity to different aides has the virus raised alarms contained in the White House, the place officers fearful that different prime officers might have been contaminated.

Officials on the White House have identified about Ms. Hicks’s prognosis since Wednesday night, when she traveled with the president aboard Air Force One to Minnesota for a marketing campaign rally in Duluth. Her situation was reported earlier by Bloomberg News, which additionally stated that she had been quarantined on the return flight to Washington. It was unclear when she took the take a look at that resulted in a optimistic prognosis.

Ms. Hicks additionally accompanied Mr. Trump to the primary presidential debate towards former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, on Tuesday in Ohio. Attendance on the occasion was considerably scaled again to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus; folks aware of the planning stated that Mr. Trump had needed folks within the viewers.

In a phone interview on Thursday evening with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Mr. Trump confirmed that Ms. Hicks had examined optimistic and appeared responsible troopers and regulation enforcement officers who he stated needed to present her hugs and thank her for her work on the White House.

“She’s a very warm person,” the president stated. “When soldiers and law enforcement come up to her,” he stated, she doesn’t wish to reject their entreaties.

“I was surprised to hear with Hope,” the president stated. He added that he and the primary woman, Melania Trump, have been each examined on Thursday for the coronavirus, and he floated the opportunity of having to quarantine.

A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, wouldn’t remark immediately on Ms. Hicks’s situation on Thursday evening.

“The president takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” Mr. Deere stated. The White House operations staff labored intently with the president’s physician, amongst others, he added, “to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current C.D.C. guidance and best practices for limiting Covid-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible.”

There is nobody nearer to Mr. Trump than Ms. Hicks, who returned to the White House this 12 months after leaving her place as communications director in 2018. She has overseen vital facets of the president’s each day schedule, and she or he works intently with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Ms. Hicks was one of many few White House senior aides seen sporadically sporting masks in conferences, in accordance with her colleagues. But she additionally has been photographed round Mr. Trump with out one.

Mr. Trump has confronted fierce criticism from well being specialists and his Democratic opponents for his dealing with of the coronavirus disaster over the previous 9 months. The virus has claimed greater than 200,000 lives within the United States and has contaminated greater than seven million folks, forcing companies, colleges and far of each day life to close down.

The president repeatedly performed down the pandemic in its early days, telling the general public that the virus would disappear “like magic” and mocking the advice by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put on masks. More just lately, Mr. Trump has disregarded recommendation from his personal well being specialists and has pressured them to provide a vaccine, saying publicly that it could come earlier than Election Day.

Polls present that Mr. Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic has turn out to be a number one challenge for many citizens because the president seems to win one other 4 years within the White House.

The president has often waved apart issues about contracting the coronavirus, telling reporters — who uniformly put on masks whereas on the White House — that everybody round him is examined earlier than they’re allowed to be with him.

Reporters who’re scheduled to journey with the president are required to get coronavirus checks earlier than they’re permitted on Air Force One or into Oval Office conferences. Other guests are additionally screened earlier than they’re allowed close to him.

Two folks briefed about Ms. Hicks’s optimistic prognosis stated that a number of White House officers could be required to quarantine as a result of they’d come into contact along with her. But at the least one one that had been round Ms. Hicks, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, held a information convention on the White House on Thursday morning.

However, because the president traveled within the afternoon for a fund-raiser at his non-public membership in Bedminster, N.J., he had fewer aides than regular accompanying him, aides stated. And some who had been round Ms. Hicks this week have been seen sporting masks.

In May, the president revealed that he had taken a two-week course of an antimalarial drug known as hydroxychloroquine, which he had often promoted as a approach to forestall or remedy Covid-19. At the time, his physician stated he had not examined optimistic and had chosen to take the drug as a safety measure.

Later research confirmed that the drug lacked effectiveness. In July, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned towards its use. A research introduced on Wednesday confirmed that the drug didn’t forestall infections amongst well being care employees.

The president and his advisers contained in the West Wing have largely shrugged off issues about contracting the virus, regardless that three folks, together with two of his prime aides, have already got.

Katie Miller, the communications director for Vice President Mike Pence, examined optimistic and have become ailing in May, later revealing that she is pregnant. She returned to the White House on the finish of that month. Mr. Trump’s private navy valet additionally examined optimistic in May.

Robert C. O’Brien, the president’s nationwide safety adviser, examined optimistic in July. He stated he had delicate signs and self-isolated for a time period.

But regardless of these instances, Mr. Trump and lots of of these round him don’t often put on masks. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of workers, hardly ever makes use of one and was photographed interacting with folks on a rope line with out one.

Mr. Meadows and Mr. Trump say they really feel protected as a result of they’re examined for the virus each day.

The president’s marketing campaign has additionally taken few precautions concerning the virus, often holding rallies the place the president’s supporters, journalists, White House workers, safety and others are saved shut collectively for hours. Many of these attending the occasions, together with the president’s workers, don’t put on masks.

Most of the rallies have been both outdoor or in airport hangars open to the outside. But at the least one, in Tulsa, Okla., was held indoors and have become what well being officers there stated was the probably supply of a surge within the virus a number of weeks later.

In addition, eight members of Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign workers who labored on the Tulsa rally examined optimistic for the coronavirus afterward, elevating issues about an outbreak amongst folks near the president.

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