Many of those in President Donald Trump's inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19 after the president and the First Lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for the illness. Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, is the latest member of the Trump team to test positive for COVID-19. On early Friday morning, the president shared via Twitter that he and Melania tested positive for the illness, a message which came shortly after one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, was positively diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to Politico, Stepien received his diagnosis on Friday evening. One senior campaign official said that Stepien was experiencing "mild flu-like symptoms." He reportedly plans to quarantine until he recovers, but he will also continue to work on the Trump campaign in the meantime. Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark will reportedly look over Trump's campaign team in Arlington, Virginia, while Stepien oversees things remotely. While Trump and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, several others connected to them have developed the illness as well. Since they revealed their diagnoses, Stepien, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Thom Tillis, Sen. Mike Lee, and former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie have tested positive for COVID-19.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Friday afternoon that Trump was going to Walter Reed Medical Center after experiencing "mild symptoms" related to the illness. However, CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that the situation might be more serious than what the White House said publicly. He spoke to multiple sources, one of which is a Trump advisor, who told him that, "This is serious." They said that the president was experiencing fatigue and that he was having some difficulty breathing. It was also later reported that Trump was given supplemental oxygen while at the White House. The news emerged shortly after doctors held a press conference about the president's condition, but dodged a question about him receiving additional oxygen.
Before he went to Walter Reed Medical Center, Trump's team released a video in which he addressed this matter. "I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support," he said in the video. "I'm going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So, thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you."