Video shows covid-positive Hope Hicks touching Air Force One railing ahead of top aides like Kushner

Senior counselor to US president self-isolated on journey back from Minnesota

James Crump@thejamescrump
Friday 02 October 2020 16:17
Covid-positive Hope Hicks touches Air Force railing ahead of top aides like Kushner

Footage has emerged of president Donald Trump’s senior counselor Hope Hicks touching the handrail of the presidential plane, Air Force One, a day before she tested positive for Covid-19.

On Thursday evening, Donald Trump announced that Ms Hicks had tested positive for Covid-19, before confirming a few hours later that he and the first lady Melania Trump had also contracted coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Ms Hicks travelled to Minnesota on Air Force One, with Mr Trump and several of his aides, but none of them were pictured wearing face masks.

Video footage of them boarding the plane has emerged, that shows Ms Hicks walking up the steps of Air Force One while holding on to the handrail.

Mr Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the president, and Nicholas Luna, who serves as the director of Oval Office operations, follow behind Ms Hicks and also hold onto the handrail as they board the plane.

Footage also showed Ms Hicks holding the handrail of the presidential helicopter Marine One as she boarded it on Tuesday, while followed by another senior adviser to the president, Stephen Miller, and again Mr Kushner.

Ms Hicks tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday evening, after self-isolating on the journey back from Minnesota, and is currently isolating at her home in Washington, DC while suffering from symptoms of the virus.

Following reports of her diagnosis, Mr Trump tweeted: “Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible!”

Speaking on Fox News about Ms Hick’s diagnosis, the president appeared to assign blame for her contracting the virus to soldiers and law enforcement officials.

“It's very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you,” he told Fox News.

A few hours later Mr Trump announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for Covid-19, and confirmed that they will be self-isolating.

There has so far been no news on whether Mr Miller or Mr Luna have contracted Covid-19, but the White House announced on Friday morning that Mr Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump had tested negative for coronavirus.

According to Johns Hopkins University some 7.2m people have now tested positive for coronavirus in the US and the death toll has reached 207,818.

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