(JTA) — President Donald Trump announced early Friday morning that both he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 and would begin quarantining.
Both his Jewish daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser, tested negative on Friday, White House spokeswoman Carolina Hurley said. The couple, who have been traveling with the president, have taken leading roles in Trump’s reelection campaign.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, also Jewish, has tested negative as well, according to reports.
Sources said that Trump was suffering “mild” symptoms, the media reported.
His announcement — coming just weeks ahead of the presidential election — came hours after news broke that Trump adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive. She began to show symptoms Wednesday while traveling with Trump to a rally in Minnesota.
People with COVID-19 can transmit the disease before showing symptoms and may actually be most contagious during that time, according to researchers. That would put anyone who was in contact with Hicks or Trump earlier this week at risk.
Kushner also traveled to the Minnesota rally; he and Hicks also flew that day on Marine One with Stephen Miller, another Jewish senior advisor. Photographs show none of them wearing a mask. There was no word on whether Miller had tested positive. Miller’s wife earlier this year had the virus.
On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump was among the Trump family members in the audience at the presidential debate in Cleveland. According to media reports, she wore a mask when entering and exiting the auditorium but not during the debate.
Trump’s announcement raises questions about whether Democratic challenger Joe Biden, the former vice president who is running ahead in the polls, could have been put at risk during the debate, although the opponents stood more than 6 feet apart throughout the hour-and-a-half event. Later Friday morning, Biden’s campaign announced that he would test for the virus.
It also comes after Trump faced criticism for his behavior during the debate, which included not condemning white supremacists when invited to do so, and amid ongoing criticism about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which so far has killed more than 200,000 Americans. PJC