Trump sought to keep COVID-19 diagnosis secret Thursday as he awaited second test result: WSJ

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE hid the results of his first positive COVID-19 test on Thursday while awaiting the results of a second test that would later also come back positive, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

People familiar with the president's health told the newspaper that a rapid COVID-19 test returned a positive result before President Trump called in to Fox News for an interview with Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTrump calls Fox 'disappointing' for airing Obama speech Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE on Thursday evening. During the interview, Trump addressed the diagnosis of his aide Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump says ex-staffer who penned 'Anonymous' op-ed should be 'prosecuted' Documents show Trump campaign ignored coronavirus guidelines at Duluth rally: report Trump aide won't get into whether Trump has done debate prep MORE with coronavirus but did not reveal that he had apparently already tested positive.

In a tweet hours later, just before 1 a.m. Friday, Trump announced his own diagnosis after a second test performed using a deeper nasal swap also returned positive results.


"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 wrote in the tweet.

The Journal also reported that Trump told at least one aide to keep their own positive test results secret.


The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Journal or The Hill.

Asked later Sunday whether the president was tested before the presidential debate on Tuesday or before he attended a fundraiser in New Jersey on Sunday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to say.

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested. He’s tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster,” she said.

“I’m not giving a detailed readout of his testing. But safe to say, his first positive test was upon return or at least after Bedminster.”

News of the timing of Trump's diagnosis comes as the media has grappled with contradictory statements about the president's health from top officials since the announcement of his positive test results early Friday.

Reporters have hammered the president's physician over a statement he made admitting that he did not initially tell reporters that the president had been placed on supplemental oxygen even when asked directly about the issue due to a desire to be "upbeat" about Trump's status.

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDemocrats call Trump's COVID-19 response 'among the worst failures of leadership in American history' Winter COVID-19 wave poses threat to nation's hospitals Critics blast 'two-faced liar' Miles Taylor after revelation as NYT 'anonymous' author MORE also told reporters Saturday that the president's vitals had been "very concerning" at one point and indicated that Trump was not yet on a path to full recovery, directly contradicting White House physician Sean Conley's earlier assertion that Trump was doing "very well" against the disease.