Covid-positive Trump returns to the White House: Last picture of President before his diagnosis was revealed - but why did it take so long if he's the 'most tested man in the world'?

 Donald Trump has tested positive for coronavirus despite being at the center of one of the most secure testing environments in the world - and questions are now being asked about why it took so long to diagnose him hours after aide Hope Hicks was confirmed to have coronavirus. 

The White House boasts one of the most advanced testing programmes in the world, with White House staff randomly tested for Covid-19 using a system that takes just five minutes to show a positive result and 13 minutes for a negative one.

Officials said in August that random tests for staff in the Executive Office of the President would become mandatory, using the Abbott Laboratories ID NOW test, which data analysis has shown is highly accurate when compared with industry-standard alternatives.

However, concerns have previously been raised about  the fact that the ID NOW rapid test found positive cases of Covid-19 just 95 per cent of the time.

There is also confusion as to why Trump and First Lady Melania's diagnoses were only recorded today when senior aide Hope Hicks, who also came down with the virus after travelling with the president several times this week, self isolated on Wednesday, having first felt poorly that evening. 

Hicks was quarantined away from others on the president's plane, returning from a rally in Minnesota, and her diagnosis was confirmed Thursday, according to an administration official, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

But despite her symptoms as early as Wednesday evening Trump then continued with his schedule Thursday and traveled to and from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort to take part in two campaign events. They were held behind closed doors to a select audience.  

Trump then flew then back to the White House later Thursday evening, when it was then publicly confirmed Hicks had the virus. His social media director Dan Scavino and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who were originally set to join him on the Thursday trip, were replaced at the last minute by other aides.  

It was not until shortly before 1am EST Friday that Trump confirmed he had the virus, writing: 'Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!' 

Last photo: Donald Trump looks bedraggled as he returns to the White House from his helicopter Marine One on Thursday afternoon, hours before revealing that he and the first lady had tested positive for Covid-19. He had attended a fundraiser in New Jersey

Last photo: Donald Trump looks bedraggled as he returns to the White House from his helicopter Marine One on Thursday afternoon, hours before revealing that he and the first lady had tested positive for Covid-19. He had attended a fundraiser in New Jersey

THURSDAY: Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 1, 2020, following campaign events in New Jersey hours before revealing he has COVID-19

THURSDAY: Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 1, 2020, following campaign events in New Jersey hours before revealing he has COVID-19

Hope Hicks hours before her diagnosis: Hope Hicks, far right, is pictured boarding Marine One on Wednesday. The President was also onboard alongside Stephen Miller, second from right, Jared Kushner, center. Her coronavirus diagnosis was announced the next day. They were on their way to Minnesota when this photograph was taken. She started feeling unwell on the way back

Hope Hicks hours before her diagnosis: Hope Hicks, far right, is pictured boarding Marine One on Wednesday. The President was also onboard alongside Stephen Miller, second from right, Jared Kushner, center. Her coronavirus diagnosis was announced the next day. They were on their way to Minnesota when this photograph was taken. She started feeling unwell on the way back 


In May press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Trump as the 'most tested man in America'. She said: 'He's tested more than anyone, multiple times a day. And we believe that he's acting appropriately.'

But Trump later said: 'I don't know about more than one. I do probably on average a test every two days, three days, and I don't know of any time I've taken two in one day, but I could see that happening.' 

Senior staff have been tested for COVID-19 daily since two people who work at the White House complex tested positive in early May, prompting the White House to step up precautions. Everyone who comes into contact with the president also receives a quick-result test. 

Testing for White House staff was ramped after a military valet contracted the virus and Trump and Pence tested negative. 

'I've had very little contact with this gentleman. Know who he is, good person... Yeah it's a little bit strange, but it's one of those things,' Trump said at the time. 

He added that 'I felt no vulnerability whatsoever,' saying he felt the situation was controlled 'very well.' 

In the same week, Pence's press secretary Katie Miller - who is married to Trump adviser Stephen Miller - also tested positive. 

People working around the president at the White House had already been getting regular tests for the coronavirus. 

But staff, Secret Service agents, and guests had not been wearing masks in the West Wing. 

On May 11, a memo to the president's staff told them to wear face coverings, and discouraged unnecessary visits from other parts of the White House complex to the West Wing area.

'Common sense has finally prevailed,' one senior administration official said at the time.  

It is not known why the president's test took so long to come back or whether he was tested Wednesday evening when Hicks first began displaying symptoms. 

Trump only said he and Melania were in quarantine on Thursday evening, writing: 'Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!'  

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days, White House staffers are considered essential workers. 

CDC's guidelines for exposed essential workers allows them to return to work if they take precautions, including taking their temperature before going into work, wearing a mask at all times and practicing social distancing.  

The positive test comes a month before the election and after the president has spent the year largely downplaying the threat of the virus. 


TUESDAY: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave before boarding Air Force One to travel to the first presidential debate in Cleveland

TUESDAY: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave before boarding Air Force One to travel to the first presidential debate in Cleveland

THURSDAY: President Donald Trump walks from Marine One to the White House in Washington, Thursday

THURSDAY: President Donald Trump walks from Marine One to the White House in Washington, Thursday


Trump was last seen by reporters returning to the White House on Thursday evening and looked to be in good health. At 74 years old, he is at higher risk of serious complications from a virus that has now killed more than 205,000 people nationwide.

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

In a memorandum, the president's physician said that the president and first lady 'are both well at this time' and '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,' he added. 

The diagnosis marks a major blow for a president who has been trying desperately to convince the American public that the worst of the pandemic is behind them even as cases continue to rise just weeks before the November 3 election. 

And it stands as the most serious known public health scare encountered by any sitting American president in recent history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. 

Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

Trump had consistently played down concerns about being personally vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, even after White House staff and allies were exposed and sickened.

'I felt no vulnerability whatsoever,' he said told reporters back in May. 

Since the early days of the pandemic, experts have questioned the health and safety protocols at the White House and asked why more wasn't being done to protect the commander in chief. 

Trump continued to shake hands with visitors long after public health officials were warning against it and he initially resisted being tested. 

He has been reluctant to practice his own administration's social distancing guidelines, including refusing under almost all circumstances to wear a mask in public. 

Covid-positive Trump returns to the White House: Last picture of President before his diagnosis was revealed - but why did it take so long if he's the 'most tested man in the world'? Covid-positive Trump returns to the White House: Last picture of President before his diagnosis was revealed - but why did it take so long if he's the 'most tested man in the world'? Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:59 Rating: 5

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