However, it can take a few days after exposure for tests to detect an infection, and the rapid antigen tests used by the White House have higher error rates than slower polymerase chain reaction tests. (The Trumps’ results were confirmed using PCR tests.)
Here’s who has tested positive thus far, as well as what we know about their condition:
The president is experiencing “mild symptoms” but remains “in good spirits,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday.
“He continues to be not only in good spirits, but very energetic,” Meadows said.
Trump had kept up a busy travel schedule, holding rallies and other events where facial coverings and social distancing are rarely observed. In addition to Tuesday’s debate, Trump attended a post-debate rally in Minnesota on Wednesday and a fundraiser at his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, shortly before his positive test came back.
He was scheduled to fly to Wisconsin for rallies over the weekend but that trip has since been called off, and even prior to that was facing difficulties as the state combats a rising caseload of its own.
The 74-year-old president — who’s straddling the line between overweight into obese, according to his most recent physical — is at an increased risk of developing serious complications from the novel coronavirus. Trump also takes cholesterol medication, but Trump’s doctor has said that his cholesterol level and blood pressure were within normal ranges and the president “remains in very good health overall.”
While two decades younger than her husband, the 50-year-old Melania, also falls within an age range with an elevated risk of complications. The deadly virus can have widely disparate effects on different people, even at advanced age, ranging from relatively mild symptoms to devastating breathing problems.
Melania traveled to the debate on Tuesday, where she was observed sitting in the audience with a mask— the only one of the president’s family to do so — but later removed it despite a representative from the Cleveland Clinic urging them to wear one during the event.
In some ways, Hicks’ positive test became the fuse that lit the match as she became the person closest to the president’s inner circle to test positive for coronavirus. Hicks, who holds the senior title of counselor to the president, traveled with Trump to Cleveland for Tuesday’s debate — and was spotted traveling on Air Force One without a mask. She was also in tow when the president traveled to Minnesota for a campaign rally on Wednesday.
She showed symptoms and got her test result early Thursday, but only a small collection of White House officials reportedly knew of the positive diagnoses and word did not spread widely until later in the afternoon.
Meadows refused to “get into the tick-tock” of how the White House handled Hick’s results but said they had quickly “pulled some of the people that had been traveling and in close contact.”
The Republican National Committee chair announced she had contracted Covid-19 just hours after the Trumps did, after a member of McDaniel’s family tested positive. POLITICO reported that she began experiencing symptoms sometime earlier this week.
A RNC spokesman said that McDaniel had been at home in Michigan since Saturday. McDaniel was with the president on Thursday and Friday of last week, but reportedly tested negative before her contact with Trump both times.
McDaniel’s infection could mean that both the leader of the Republican party and the head of the national party organization will be sidelined in the final stretch of a reelection campaign they have been trailing in for months.
The Republican senator from Utah announced midday Friday that he has also tested positive after developing symptoms he thought were “consistent with longtime allergies,” he said in a statement. However, Lee took a test anyway on Thursday “out of an abundance of caution,” which came back positive.
Lee said he tested negative prior to visiting the White House earlier this week, and that he will undergo a 10-day isolation.
Lee was among the senators who met in person with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in recent days, including posing for a photo next to one another. (The White House said Friday Barrett’s most recent test was negative.)
The senator was also in attendance at Barrett’s nomination announcement from the White House lawn, where he was shown in close proximity to and hugging other attendees.
Trump’s diagnosis reverberated at the Capitol, given the loose approach many lawmakers and White House officials had taken during frequent meetings and interactions with one another during the pandemic.
Lee is the at least the 17th member of Congress to test positive for Covid-19, and dozens more have self-quarantined as a precautionary measure at various points after possible exposure.
The Rev. John Jenkins
The University of Notre Dame president was also at the White House on Saturday for the announcement of Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Barrett is a graduate of Notre Dame’s law school and was a law professor there prior to becoming a federal judge.
Jenkins was criticized for attending the White House event without a mask and not practicing social distancing, which he subsequently apologized for. His rapid test results prior to the event were negative.
The university said that Jenkins had been self-quarantining when he was informed that a colleague he has frequently interacted with tested positive for Covid-19, and he sought a test for himself.
“My symptoms are mild and I will continue [to] work from home,” Jenkins said in campus-wide message. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”