Trump says he and Melania have the virus he claimed 'affects virtually nobody'


The man who has downplayed and denied the seriousness of the deadly disease has tested positive.

At a campaign rally in September, Donald Trump insisted that the coronavirus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans "affects virtually nobody, it's an amazing thing."

Not long after midnight Friday, Trump announced — by Twitter, of course — that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for COVID-19.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," he tweeted. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

Earlier on Thursday night, news broke that one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive. Hicks was but the latest of many members of the Trump team to have tested positive. Hicks had traveled with Trump earlier this week to the presidential debate in Ohio, where several members of Trump's team — including his daughters Tiffany and Ivanka and his son Eric — refused to wear masks inside the debate hall, even after a doctor tried to offer masks to them.

Trump has consistently downplayed the seriousness of the virus since it first started killing Americans. He has refused to wear a mask and has encouraged others not to wear masks as well. He has even mocked Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and engaging in other cautious behavior so as to not contract or spread the virus.

Trump has resumed campaign rallies in recent weeks, some of them indoors, despite federal and state guidelines against large crowds indoors. In September, he held a packed indoor rally in Henderson, Nevada, where thousands of attendees defied social distancing orders and did not wear masks.

Asked whether he was concerned about the danger of holding crowded rallies as the pandemic continues ravage the country, Trump said, "I'm on a stage, and it's very far away. And so I'm not at all concerned."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.