Hicks returns to traveling with Trump two weeks after COVID-19 diagnosis
Senior White House adviser Hope Hicks joined President Trump on his two-day trip to North Carolina and Florida, flying on Air Force One two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.
Hicks, who is one of the president’s closest aides, was spotted leaving the White House with Trump on Thursday afternoon. She was not wearing a mask, and did not have one on when she arrived on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews.
It marked Hicks’s first public appearance since her positive diagnosis was reported on Oct. 1. Trump announced he tested positive for the virus hours later, and several more White House officials have tested positive in the two weeks since. Hicks had mild symptoms during her bout with the virus.
The handling of Hicks’s positive test has come under scrutiny as the White House has attempted to get its COVID-19 outbreak under control. Officials said they knew she had tested positive the morning of Oct. 1, but still had Trump travel to a fundraiser in New Jersey that afternoon.
White House officials have not disclosed when Trump’s most recent negative test before he tested positive was, making it difficult to know when the president may have contracted the virus. Trump said earlier Thursday that he is tested “a lot,” but not daily.
The White House did not voluntarily disclose that one of Trump’s top aides had tested positive, and Hicks’s case only became known because it was reported by Bloomberg. Trump later suggested that Hicks’s willingness to interact with first responders may have contributed to her contracting the virus.
“She’s fantastic. And she’s done a great job. But it’s very, very hard when you are with people from the military or for law enforcement,” Trump said on Fox News after news of Hicks’s diagnosis broke.
“And they come over to you, and they want to hug you, and they want to kiss you, because we really have done a good job for them,” he added. “And you get close, and things happen. I was surprised to hear with Hope. But she’s a very warm person with them.”
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