Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis

VP ‘remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery’

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 02 October 2020 14:17 BST
Who is Hope Hicks?
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Vice president Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have tested negative for the coronavirus, following Donald Trump’s announcement that the president and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the disease. 

“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for Covid-19 every day,” VP press secretary Devin O’Malley announced.

“This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for Covid-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery."

The announcement arrived hours after the president’s early morning post on Twitter claiming that the couple had “tested positive for Covid-19” and will begin a “quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

Mr Trump’s diagnosis arrived two hours after he announced a positive result from Hope Hick, one of his closest advisers; the vice president has not been in close contact with Ms Hicks.

Should the president become too ill to perform his duties at the White House, his vice president would resume the role.

In a White House memo sent early on Friday, the president’s physician Sean Conley said that the "President and First Lady are both well at this time.”

“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruptions while recovering,” he said.

On Thursday night, the president and his Democratic rival Joe Biden appeared virtually at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, an annual high-profile fundraiser for Catholic charities.

The president echoed in his remarks his optimistic and misleading statements about the state of the public health crisis that have charged his rhetoric at campaign rallies and at the White House.

He said that a vaccine, of which there are several in late-stage clinical trials with no expectation among health officials to be distributed within the end of the year, is “on track” to be developed and distributed  “before the end of the year, and maybe substantially before.”

“I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country,” he said.

He also stopped at a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Thursday night.

The president’s campaign trail and White House exposure has triggered quarantine warnings that could impact dozens of people.

Following the president’s announcement of his positive diagnosis, Mr Pence said in a statement on social media: “Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania.”

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