Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis a 'wake-up call,' Michigan Gov. Whitmer says

President Donald Trump and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis should "serve as a wake-up call to every single American" about the persistent threat of the coronavirus, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday.

In an early morning Tweet, Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 and were in quarantine. A top aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the virus Thursday.In an early morning Tweet, Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 and were in quarantine. A top aide, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the virus Thursday.

Whitmer, in a statement, wished the president and first lady a speedy recovery, calling the still-spreading coronavirus "the most dangerous public health crisis America has faced in 100 years." 

"This virus doesn't care if you're rich or poor, a Republican or a Democrat, young or old," Whitmer said. "No one is immune. Not even the president."

Whitmer and Trump have feuded over the state and federal response to the coronavirus, which has killed 6,781 people in Michigan and roughly 208,000 nationwide. The president has complained about the governor’s public health orders and forced business closures, which have mostly been lifted, while Whitmer has criticized Trump for downplaying the virus.

“We can beat this enemy – but it's going to take every single one of us working together to do it,” Whitmer said Friday. “Right now the most effective weapon we have is pretty simple: it's wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth. It's washing your hands with soap and water. And maintaining six feet of physical distance from one another.” 

The news of Trump’s diagnosis comes the same day Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who shared a socially distanced debate stage with the president on Tuesday, is set to travel to Michigan and hold multiple campaign events in Grand Rapids.

“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”

Trump had planned two rallies Saturday in Wisconsin, which is amid a surge of coronavirus that health officials believe has helped lead to a spike in cases in the western Upper Peninsula.

It’s not immediately clear if the 74-year-old president or his 50-year-old wife have any significant symptoms from COVID-19. Melania Trump said on Twitter they are "feeling good." 

Trump’s physician, in a publicly released letter, said 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.”

"Rest assured, I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” Dr. Sean Conley wrote.

Republican National Committeewoman Ronna McDaniel, who lives in Michigan, has also tested positive and has mild symptoms, sources told The New York Times. 

Trump last campaigned in Michigan on Sept. 10, when he held a large rally in Saginaw County that was attended by thousands of supporters, many of whom did not wear masks. Trump’s mass rallies "fly in the face" of science and violate public safety orders, Whitmer, who is a co-chair for Biden's national campaign, said at the time. 

Biden, who campaigned in metro Detroit on Sept. 9, has held smaller and socially distanced events. His campaign had also resisted knocking on doors during the pandemic, but that is poised to change with the weekend deployment of volunteers to Michigan and other states.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat who is up for re-election, said Friday that he and his wife "are thinking of the president and first lady after hearing the awful news," wishing them both a fast and full recovery.

"Reminder: this pandemic is real and serious," Peters wrote on Twitter. "We each have a role to play in preventing the spread of this pandemic. Wear a mask & social distance."

John James, a Republican businessman challenging Peters for the Senate seat, said he is "praying for the First Family."

Peter Meijer, a Republican candidate for Congress in west Michigan's 3rd congressional district, said he wished the Trumps "strength and health in this moment, but also that our nation as a whole may heal from this vicious pandemic that has taken too many of our neighbors."

Hillary Scholten, a Democrat facing Meijer in the general election, said she is "sad to hear that the president and first lady have tested positive for COVID-19" and is "praying they have a quick and easy recovery."

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Lisa Torrecelli
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 11:57am

RNC superspreader organizer has been positive and staying at home in MICHIGAN, Northville?

Hoaxy Trumpy
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 11:59am

No tweets from FLOTUS. Did she really test positive or is Trump just saying that because it looks suspicious that maybe only he and Hicks tested positive?

Paul Greene
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:02pm

Question: Is it a "wake up call" for Trump?

Humanity Calling
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:11pm

The most protected man on the planet engaged in reckless behavior tempting our common enemy, covid, to his detriment. Let's pray he gets better and stops playing God. Let's pray his cult-like followers have an epiphany, a wake-up call, to behave more maturely and responsibly. Nothing says "sucker" and "loser" more than adults acting like clueless children screaming "Liberate Michigan!" during a worldwide pandemic.

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:25pm

It makes for a great ending !

Reality TV
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 3:25pm

Series Finale?

Kevin Grand
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:27pm

I wish both the President and First lady and full and speedy recovery.

However, something else needs to be clarified here.

The CDC recently updated estimated infection fatality rates for Wuhan. Here are the updated SURVIVAL RATES by age group:

0-19: 99.997%
20-49: 99.98%
50-69: 99.5%
70+: 94.6%

Not quite the Black Plague death numbers put out by the Imperial College, which certain politicians absolutely loved using to terrify the population into obedient compliance.

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 3:26pm

I think we can all officially start calling it TRUMP FLU.

Kevin Grand
Sat, 10/03/2020 - 10:09am


The virus came from Wuhan, China.

Mon, 10/05/2020 - 8:51am

The virus origins stopped being relevant the moment it crossed the border and became a worldwide problem. Trump would like to keep the focus on China to keep the focus off of the terrible job he has done on a federal level to contain this. Sure blame China and not the guy who told the country numerous times that it is no worse than the flu and would go away miraculously.

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 12:42pm

"Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family," Biden tweeted Friday morning.

--Mr. and Mrs. Biden tested negative.

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 1:07pm

President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 could be good for the stock market, according to Fundstrat's Tom Lee.

The development could be a positive one in the sense that more Americans, specifically skeptics of the virus, should begin to treat the virus seriously and follow protocols to help limit the spread of the disease, Lee said.

Increased compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing protocols could help squash the recent uptick in daily COVID-19 cases, which would help the economy reopen both faster and safer.

Wishful Thinking
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 3:28pm

Obviously, that's wrong. See Kevin Grand's comment. He's still woefully in denial.

Kevin Grand
Sat, 10/03/2020 - 10:13am

WT, How quickly you have forgotten the go-to argument from the governor herself, "We are using "Data" & "Science" to guide our decisions."

Stubborn MI GOPs
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 2:02pm

Yet according to Michigan Radio reports, Republicans legislators are not enforcing the wearing of masks in the Michigan capitol building.

War on Christmas
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 3:23pm

I can't believe it's true:

Such a foul mouth! We love to celebrate the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season and together our family spends hours assembling our extensive nativity collection. Together we sing joyous Christmas songs during Advent as we look forward to Midnight mass on Christmas Eve when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

First Jerry Falwell Jr., now Melania, what next? Where is the decency? We have become a country ruled literally by the antiChrist. It's no wonder God has stricken our country and leaders with the plague. It's just like the Old Testament. Sadly I fear this is all our children know. I hope our kids and grandkids will see Joe Biden as president. He's the kind of nice Catholic we know from the way we were raised.