President Donald Trump spoke with Fox News on Thursday and talked about his aide Hope Hicks testing positive for COVID-19, but he failed to disclose that he had already received a positive result on one test and was awaiting the results of a second, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump made an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show Thursday, in an interview that made headlines for Trump’s denunciation of white supremacists including the far-right group Proud Boys, after he had refused to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate with Joe Biden earlier in the week.
During the conversation, Hannity asked about Hicks’ diagnosis, which had been reported earlier in the day.
“I just went out for a test. They just do it. It’ll come back later, I guess,” Trump told Hannity, when asked about Hicks’ condition. Later, he added: ”I mean, I’ll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning, but I spend a lot of time with Hope and so does the First Lady, and she’s tremendous.”
But before that appearance, Trump had taken and received the results of a rapid COVID-19 test, which showed a positive result, the Wall Street Journal reported. Trump’s testing procedure reportedly followed that of White House protocol, where a second test is administered further into the nasal passage after a positive result from a rapid test.
Shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, and he was admitted to the hospital later in the day. The White House didn’t immediately respond to an email from VICE News requesting comment on the Wall Street Journal story.
The incident is yet another example of the White House obfuscating the details and timeline of Trump’s diagnosis, a remarkable lack of transparency in the middle of one of the biggest political crises in recent memory. That lack of transparency has even been extended to Trump advisors and administration officials: Trump explicitly told one official who tested positive not to tell anyone, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who helped Trump with debate prep last week and was maskless during the Amy Coney Barrett nomination ceremony that seems to have been at the center of the outbreak, hadn’t been contacted by the White House, he told the Washington Post. Christie later tested positive and checked himself into a hospital on Saturday.
“I’m glued to Twitter and TV because I have no official communication from anyone in the West Wing,” one administration official told the Wall Street Journal.
Cover: President Donald Trump arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, on Marine One after he tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)