‘On with SCOTUS confirmation’: Reaction pours in as COVID diagnosis sweeps through Trump’s inner circle

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In the wake of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, it seems everyone in his inner circle has had to undergo tests to determine if they have been infected as well.

Members of Trump’s family, his cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence have reportedly been tested for the coronavirus after the president announced overnight that he and first lady Melania Trump had received a positive diagnosis. His message came hours after news that senior White House adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

“As too many Americans have done this year, @POTUS & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements,” the first lady tweeted soon after, adding, “Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has tested negative for the virus, told reporters Friday that the president was exhibiting “mild symptoms” but is doing well.

On Friday morning, it was reported that Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence had both tested negative. Pence was with the president this week, and is scheduled to debate Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris next week.

“Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery,” the vice president’s spokesperson, Devin O’Malley tweeted.

Tensions have been running high weeks before the election, and debates have been raging about the pending confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. She and her family were with the president last Saturday when he announced her nomination but, as of Friday, her daily coronavirus tests continue to come in negative.

“She is following CDC guidance and best practices, including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequently washes hands,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Barrett’s nomination is “on track” according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also sees the process moving forward despite the president’s diagnosis.

“We can move forward. Our biggest enemy obviously is … the coronavirus, keeping everybody healthy and well and in place to do our job,” the Kentucky Republican told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday. “We don’t anticipate any kind of unanticipated event that could throw us off schedule.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife tested negative for the virus on Friday morning. Pompeo told reporters traveling with him in Dubrovnik, Croatia, that he has not been with the president since mid-September as he has been traveling.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also tested negative on Friday morning.

Rep. Jim Jordan, who traveled with Trump on Air Force One to Tuesday’s presidential debate said he would get tested as soon as he finished up an interview on Fox News on Friday morning. He did not return to Washington with the president and said they were only together for “a brief, brief amount of time.”

“I feel great,” the Ohio Republican said. “I had a great workout yesterday. I feel fine.”

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has “tested negative three times in the past seven days for COVID-19,” according to the Department of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Secretary Chase Jennings. “He has not been in close contact with President Trump or the First Lady recently.”

Before the president’s announcement, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel had found out Wednesday that she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“After a member of her family tested positive for COVID-19, the chairwoman was tested for the virus,” RNC spokesman Steve Guest told Fox News.

“On Wednesday afternoon, she got confirmation she was COVID-19 positive,” he added. “She has been at her home in Michigan since last Saturday.”

Members of the president’s family have also been tested. First daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner both tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday, according to White House spokeswoman Carolina Hurley.

The president’s daughter, who attended the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday along with her husband, wished her father and Melania a “swift recovery” in a tweet on Friday.

Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff revelated that the president’s youngest child, 14-year-old Barron Trump, also tested negative for coronavirus.

“Barron has tested negative and all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy,” Grisham said.

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Frieda Powers

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