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President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Biden unveils batch of his White House team Melania Trump unveils White House Christmas decorations USAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 MORE have tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House physician announced late Thursday, underscoring major challenges facing the country as it seeks to contain the pandemic while raising new uncertainty surrounding the country's leadership weeks before the election.

Presidential physician Sean Conley said in a memo released by the White House late Thursday night that President Trump and the first lady "are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."

“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions. Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments," Conley added.

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The White House uses Abbott rapid response tests, with the first couple receiving their COVID-19 results after being tested earlier in the day.

The announcement came hours after news broke that White House adviser and top aide to the president Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19 MORE tested positive for the disease. Both Hicks and the president had been together on Air Force One in Cleveland for the presidential debate as well as a campaign rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

News of Hicks's COVID-19 status raised questions about whether others would test positive for the virus, with the president and first lady both saying Thursday night that they would quarantine while awaiting their results.

President Trump took to Twitter just before 1 a.m. on Friday to confirm that he and his wife had tested positive, with the White House also releasing the memo from his physician confirming their diagnoses.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” he tweeted.

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The first lady also tweeted early Friday to note that like "too many" other Americans she and her husband would have to quarantine after testing positive for the disease.

“We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” Melania Trump wrote.

Vice President Pence tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday morning that he and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceSpaceX capsule arrives at International Space Station The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - World reacts to news of second COVID-19 vaccine with 90 percent efficacy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down MORE were sending "our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump."

"We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania," he added.

The Pences both tested negative for the virus on Friday, and the first lady's chief of staff told CBS News that the president and Melania Trump's teenage son has also tested negative.

"Barron has tested negative and all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy," Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump unveils White House Christmas decorations Trumps to spend Thanksgiving at White House instead of traveling to Florida Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' MORE said.

More than 7.2 million people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. More than 207,000 have died while over 2.8 million have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“The strength of the entire country is with President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted early Friday morning.

President Trump, the first lady and Hicks’s positive diagnoses add to the number of White House and administration staff who have contracted the disease since the start of the pandemic. 

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Other officials have tested positive in past months, including Pence’s communications director Katie Miller and national security adviser Robert O’Brien. In addition, a valet for the president had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The White House issued a schedule for the president for Friday after he confirmed the test results. The president is still scheduled to hold a call “on COVID-19 support to vulnerable seniors.” 

President Trump will not travel to Sanford, Fla., to hold a scheduled campaign rally on Friday. The White House did not immediately issue any additional information on the president or the first lady’s long-term schedules following the results of their coronavirus tests.

Aides to the president told The Washington Post that his political events will be canceled for the foreseeable future.

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It is unclear at this point the full extent to which the virus has impacted the Trump administration and who will be tested for COVID-19. 

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE has tested negative "every day this week," his spokesman Ben Williamson told The Hill early Friday morning.  

A White House official told The Hill on Thursday night that contact tracing has been done following Hicks’s diagnosis, "and the appropriate notifications and recommendations have been made."

"White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling," deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for additional information.

It is unclear how Trump's diagnosis will upend stalled coronavirus relief negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders.

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House Democrats on Thursday approved a $2.2 trillion spending package of COVID-19 relief after last-ditch negotiations between House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases House Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFinancial groups applaud Biden Treasury pick Yellen US sanctions Chinese company for conducting business with Maduro regime Monumental economic challenges await Biden's Treasury secretary MORE failed to reach a bipartisan deal.

The White House is also in the midst of a Supreme Court nomination battle. The president nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last week, and Senate Republicans are poised to confirm Barrett during the last week of October ahead of the November presidential race.

The positive test results also inject fresh uncertainty in the presidential race, which had already been rocked in recent weeks by a fight over the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgCuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Cardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 MORE on Sept. 18.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE has broadly sought to make the November election a referendum on Trump's handling of the virus, bringing up the United States's status as the country with the highest number of cases and early testing lags to criticize the president.

Trump and Biden faced off in their first presidential debate Tuesday night, locking horns over the administration's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, among other topics.

Biden noted during the debate that Trump privately told journalist Bob Woodward in February that the coronavirus was "more deadly" than the flu, despite saying otherwise in public at the time. Trump's remarks to Woodward were published last month in a book.

The Democratic rival used the debate to cite Trump's response to the high COVID-19 death toll last month when he said "they are dying. That's true. And you — it is what it is."

"It is what it is because you are who you are," Biden said to Trump on Tuesday. “The president has no plan. He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was."

At another moment, Biden turned to look into the camera, saying, "How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the table because someone died of COVID-19?"

Trump pushed back on the criticism, arguing the death toll would have been higher if Biden were president. He also touted his decision in January to shut down most travel into the U.S. from China, something he has frequently highlighted.

The two candidates did not shake hands or interact closely onstage at the debate, though they were onstage together for more than 90 minutes.

The Hill has reached out to the Biden campaign for further comment on the president’s diagnosis and whether the former vice president will be tested following Tuesday night’s debate. The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

For months, Trump declined to wear a face covering in public, despite the urging of his top public health officials who sought to tamp down on a spreading number of cases in a several Southern and Western states at the time. 

Trump wore a mask for the first time in July during a visit to Walter Reed hospital in Maryland to visit wounded service members and health staff who had cared for COVID-19 patients. Since then, Trump has worn a mask on several occasions and referenced it for the press, something he did during Tuesday's debate as well.

With his positive test, Trump joins a number of other world leaders who have contracted the disease, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Monaco's Prince Albert II. Johnson, in particular, suffered a serious case of COVID-19 and spent three nights in the intensive care unit in April as that nation battled a high number of cases.

Other leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had to quarantine after being around someone who tested positive for the disease. Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanada moves to limit prescription drug exports after Trump order Trudeau says Canadians will likely have to wait until 2021 for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine Toronto goes into lockdown as COVID-19 cases climb MORE also went into home isolation in March after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive.

A number of lawmakers in the U.S. have also recovered from COVID-19, including Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Ky.) and Bill CassidyBill CassidyMurkowski: Trump should concede White House race Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge MORE (R-La.) as well as at least a dozen House members. Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyScranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Grassley tests positive for coronavirus Casey says he isn't thinking about Pennsylvania gubernatorial bid in 2022 MORE (D-Pa.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineCongress set for chaotic year-end sprint Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus MORE (D-Va.) said in May that they had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, indicating they too had likely contracted the virus. 

Michigan Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashIncoming GOP lawmaker shares video of hotel room workout, citing 'Democrat tyrannical control' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Romney congratulates Biden after victory MORE (L) tweeted his best wishes to the president and first lady early Friday. 

“Best wishes to the president and first lady on a full recovery, and for the health and well being of their family, White House staff, and those around them,” Amash tweeted. 

Others acknowledged the gravity of the president himself contracting the disease given the number of precautions taken to keep him away from those believed to be at risk of having the virus.

“If the president can get it, anyone can get it," Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellJuan Williams: Defeated Trump is in legal peril Taylor Swift allows song to be used in campaign ad Graham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' MORE (D-Calif.) said early Friday morning on MSNBC.

"It really is punishing. It's unforgiving. It draws no distinction between Republicans and Democrats,” he said.

The California Democrat said that while he doesn't want to see Trump's symptoms get worse, the positive test "should be a wake up call for all of us to get serious."

"And maybe it’ll provoke the president and his team to come to the table so that we can get the relief package passed,” the lawmaker continued, referencing the talks between House Democrats and administration officials.

— Scott Wong contributed. Updated at 10:13 a.m.