Donald Trump and his wife Melania have tested positive for Covid-19 and will start quarantine barely a month before the US presidential election.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Shortly after Mr Trump sent the tweet, the White House released a signed memorandum from the president’s physician confirming that both Mr and Mrs Trump had tested positive on Thursday evening.
“The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain home at the White House during their convalescence,” Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering,” he added.
Mrs Trump tweeted: “As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & have postponed all upcoming engagements.”
Futures for Wall Street’s S&P 500 fell more than 1.4 per cent while Tokyo’s benchmark Topix reversed earlier gains to drop 1 per cent.
London’s FTSE 100 was tipped to open 0.8 per cent lower, futures trading suggested.
The dollar, often viewed by investors as a haven, strengthened 0.2 per cent against a basket of its peers.
Mr Trump disclosed earlier on Thursday that he and Mrs Trump had been tested for the virus after Hope Hicks, one of his top aides, also tested positive.
The president’s diagnosis comes two days after he appeared at the first presidential debate on Tuesday with Democratic rival Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ms Hicks was among the aides who travelled with Mr Trump to the event, as did all of the president’s adult children, some of whom were pictured not wearing masks.
Ms Hicks also accompanied Mr Trump to a campaign rally in Minnesota on the following day.
In a television interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump appeared to suggest that Ms Hicks had contracted the virus through her interactions with “soldiers and law enforcement” officers who would “come up to her”.
Over the course of the pandemic, Mr Trump has downplayed the effectiveness of masks, suggesting that wearing them made some people, such as waiters, more likely to transfer the disease.
The president has also mocked Mr Biden for wearing one.
“Every time you see him, he’s got a mask,” Mr Trump said. “He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Despite the pandemic, the president has continued to hold large rallies across the country with many of those in the audience declining to wear masks or face coverings. After an indoor Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer, Herman Cain, a former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, contracted coronavirus and died.
As of late Thursday evening, Mr Trump had been scheduled to host a rally in Florida on Friday night followed by two rallies in Wisconsin on Saturday. The White House published a revised schedule for the president on Friday morning cancelling all public events.
With additional reporting by Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong