US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he and his wife Melania had contracted coronavirus and were entering quarantine. Trump’s tweet on Friday came after Hope Hicks, one of his closest advisers, tested positive for the disease, and after months of downplaying the severity of a pandemic that has killed more than 200 000 people in the United States.
The news reverberated through world media and financial markets, raising questions over what will be the impact on the November presidential election, just a month ahead.
Questions loom over the health impact of Covid-19 on Trump who is 74 years old, and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden who is 77 years old.
Due to their age, both are in the category of people at greater risk of severe illness from the virus.
The British government wishes Trump a speedy recovery but the United States has a clear succession protocol should it be needed, said a British minister.
“All of us want to send our best wishes to President Trump, the first lady and the Trump family and wish them a speedy recovery,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky.
“We know what it’s like to have, in our case a prime minister who tested positive for Covid and setting aside politics we all want to see him and his wife get better soon,” he said, referring to Boris Johnson who fell gravely ill after catching Covid-19 in March.
Speaking to CNN, professor of Medicine and Surgery Jonathan Reiner, said that House speaker Nancy Pelosi should be in isolation as it is possible that both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence could become ill, in which case she would likely need to step in.