“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!” he wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, Trump told Sean Hannity that he and the first lady had been tested after they learned of Hicks’ case. “We’ll see what happens, who knows?” he said.
Bloomberg News first reported the news that Hicks tested positive on Thursday and other outlets quickly confirmed it.
In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously. White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling.”
The Centers for Disease Control recommends a 14-day quarantine after exposure to the last person who tests positive for coronavirus. The incubation period is believed to be two to 14 days.
If Trump were to follow that guideline, that would put in doubt campaign travel, including a fundraising swing to Los Angeles on Tuesday. The next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15.
Trump has given mixed messages on whether to wear a mask — and has even mocked people for doing so. At the debate, he criticized Joe Biden for wearing one so frequently. “Every time I see him he is wearing a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me and he is wearing the biggest mask I have ever seen,” Trump said. At rallies, Trump will often appear before a crowd where many of them are not wearing masks and not social distancing.
Hicks traveled with Trump to the debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to a rally in Minnesota on Wednesday. She was spotted in photos without a face covering with other White House aides, but Trump told Hannity that she “wears masks a lot.” At the debate, members of Trump’s family were shown taken their seats, but most were not wearing masks.
CNN reported that the Biden campaign reportedly asked one of the pool reporters on Trump’s Minnesota trip not to go ahead with planned travel with the former vice president on Friday.
Hicks has been one of Trump’s closest advisers, having handled press relations at the start of his 2016 presidential campaign and then joining the White House when he was elected. She served for a time as communications director.
She left the White House in 2018, and then joined Fox Corp. the next year as executive vice president and chief communications officer. She rejoined the administration earlier this year, working for Jared Kushner’s office as counselor to the president and senior adviser. Before Trump ran for president, she handled media relations for the Trump Organization.