CLOSE

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s a look at where he traveled the week before his diagnosis.

USA TODAY

President Donald Trump was at the White House on Tuesday after spending the weekend battling COVID-19 at a Maryland hospital.

The president announced on Twitter early Friday that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus and, since then, nearly 20 people in and around the White House have also tested positive.

Friday evening, Trump flew to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Marine One and returned to the White House on Monday, when he issued a video statement on Twitter telling Americans “don’t be afraid” of COVID-19.

Celebrities, political pundits, and critics responded to the tweet, calling the message “preposterous” and “dangerous” for the leader of a nation that has surpassed 210,000 deaths from the disease.

What do you want to know about Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis?Submit your questions via this form and we will continue to answer your questions here.

How many people were infected during the nomination event for Judge Amy Coney Barrett?

– Satish from Elk Grove, California

Trump and at least seven other people who attended a White House ceremony unveiling Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court have been infected, including two Republican members of the Judiciary Committee.

Though the activity was held outside at the Rose Garden, the majority of the 180-plus people in attendance sat close to each other for an extended period, and most people didn’t wear masks. There were smaller indoor gatherings as part of the occasion.

That combination may have resulted in a super spreader event, the type that leads to a cluster of infections. Others at the ceremony who tested positive for the virus include first lady Melania Trump; former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; Trump adviser and former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie; GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina; President of Notre Dame University John Jenkins; and a reporter covering the announcement.

Here’s a running list of people who have tested positive and negative.

When did the president begin to feel ill?

– Linda from New York City

It’s still unclear what day the president first began experiencing symptoms as mixed messaging from the White House continues to muddle the timeline. Trump first announced his diagnosis on Twitter early Friday morning but made no mention of symptoms.

White House physician Sean Conley said in a press briefing Saturday morning that Trump experienced a mild cough, nasal congestion and fatigue from COVID-19 on Thursday.

A visual guide: The timeline of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 treatment

Is Trump contagious at this point? Will he be quarantined in the White House?

– Geoff from Cross Plains, Wisconsin

While the duration of infectiousness for COVID-19 has yet to be confirmed, scientists believe that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 may shed the virus for up to 10 days after symptoms first appear, according to the CDC.

The virus comes on quickly, and it is most infectious during the day or two before symptoms appear as well as a day or two after someone feels sick, if they ever do. Most people don’t test positive in the first day or two after exposure.

People who have confirmed COVID-19 should be in isolation, not quarantine. “Isolation” separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. “Quarantine” separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

The CDC recommends that people who have had COVID-19 can be around other people again if they meet three criteria: It has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms are improving.

Before returning to the White House on Monday, Trump ventured outside Walter Reed on Sunday night to wave at supporters – a move that doctors and critics called “reckless,” saying Trump endangered the Secret Service members riding in the vehicle with him.

Dr. James P. Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed, tweeted that everybody in the vehicle with Trump should be quarantined for 14 days.

What is the first lady’s present condition?

– Danny from Savannah, Georgia

First lady Melania Trump has been isolating at the White House after testing positive for the coronavirus. She did not leave the White House to visit the president in the hospital.

“I am feeling good and will continue to rest at home,” she said on Twitter on Monday.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff and spokeswoman, did not respond to questions about plans now that the president has returned.

Over the weekend, Grisham told USA TODAY the first lady was doing well in the residence and had stayed in contact with the president by phone. 

Grisham told USA TODAY on Monday that she and other members of the first lady’s East Wing staff have all tested negative and are working from home.

How is their son, Barron Trump, doing?

– Monica from Thousand Oaks, California

Grisham told USA TODAY over the weekend that Barron, 14, had tested negative, and “all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy.”

It was not clear if Barron was in the White House with his mother.

Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz, Savannah Behrmann and Maria Puente, USA TODAY

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/10/06/trump-covid-update-reader-questions-answered/3635959001/