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.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
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. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
“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."