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Trump Says He’ll Begin ‘Quarantine Process’ After Hope Hicks Tests Positive for Coronavirus

President Trump said late Thursday on Twitter that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, would begin the “quarantine process” as they await results of coronavirus tests they took after a senior adviser who is often with the couple tested positive.

It was not immediately clear what Mr. Trump meant by the “quarantine process,” and White House officials declined to immediately provide any guidance. As of 11:30 p.m., the president still had a full day of events planned for Friday, including a private fund-raiser at the Trump International Hotel in Washington and a campaign rally in Florida. He was also scheduled to hold a call with “vulnerable seniors” about the coronavirus.

And even if Mr. Trump first tests negative for the virus, the incubation period for it can last nearly two weeks, meaning he will not be certain for several days that he does not have it.

The White House typically uses a rapid coronavirus test that produces results within a short period of time. Two hours before that tweet, Mr. Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that he had been tested and was awaiting results, leaving the idea that he might enter into some kind of quarantine as an open question.

Ms. Hicks is the closest known person to the president to have contracted the virus, which causes Covid-19. That an adviser with such proximity to other aides has the virus raised alarms inside the White House, where officials worried that other top officials may have been infected.

Officials at the White House have known about Ms. Hicks’s likely diagnosis since Wednesday evening, when she traveled with the president aboard Air Force One to Minnesota for a campaign rally in Duluth. One person familiar with the events on Wednesday said that Ms. Hicks began exhibiting minor symptoms around the time of Mr. Trump’s rally, and that she was quarantined on the return flight to Washington and then disembarked from the back entrance of the plane.

The positive diagnosis came on Thursday, a person familiar with her case said.

Ms. Hicks also accompanied Mr. Trump to the first presidential debate against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, on Tuesday in Ohio. Attendance at the event was significantly scaled back to prevent the spread of the coronavirus; people familiar with the planning said that Mr. Trump had wanted people in the audience.

Speaking to Mr. Hannity, Mr. Trump appeared to blame soldiers and law enforcement officials who he said wanted to give her hugs and thank her for her work at the White House.

“She’s a very warm person,” the president said. “When soldiers and law enforcement come up to her,” he said, she does not

Trump suggests he may quarantine after top aide Hope Hicks tests positive for coronavirus

Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s closest aides, has tested positive for the coronavirus, and the president suggested he may quarantine.

After NBC News and other outlets reported on Hicks’ positive test, Trump himself confirmed it Thursday night in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. He also said that he had just been tested and was awaiting results either Thursday night or Friday. 

“She did test positive. She is a hard worker, a lot of masks, she wears masks a lot. She tested positive. I just went out with the test, we will see,” Trump said. “We spend a lot of time, the first lady just went and got a test also. Whether we quarantine, whether we have, we don’t know.”

Hicks, who has been known to spend a lot of time with Trump, had traveled with the president to the debate Tuesday night in Cleveland. She was seen not wearing a mask.

Trump, 74, himself rarely wears a mask and has mocked his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, 77, for often wearing face coverings. 

The Trump campaign referred questions to the White House. The White House didn’t comment on reports that Hicks had tested positive, but a spokesman issued a statement about the administration’s Covid-19 protocols. 

“The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” Judd Deere, the spokesman, said in a statement. “White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling.”

Hicks’ positive test was first reported by Bloomberg News, which cited people familiar with the matter. The Associated Press also reported it, citing an official. Bloomberg also reported that Hicks had traveled with Trump to a rally Wednesday night in Minnesota.

The New York Times reported that the White House knew about Hicks’ condition Wednesday night, and that she is under quarantine.

The latest revelation comes as coronavirus cases reach nearly 7.23 million in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Worldwide, the virus has infected about 34 million and killed more than 1 million. At least 206,971 have died in the U.S.

Hicks, 31, is among the highest-ranking people in Trump’s orbit to have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

In July, Trump’s national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, tested positive for the coronavirus. At the time, the White House said that O’Brien was experiencing “mild symptoms” and was “self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site.”

“There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted,” the White House said in a July statement.

Other administration officials have previously been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

In May, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for Covid-19,