President Donald Trump interacted with “dozens” of people after flying to a fundraiser in New Jersey on Thursday even though the White House was already aware that top aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
Trump announced overnight that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus and would isolate as they recover. The news prompted concerns among White House aides, some of whom privately told The New York Times that Trump “has comorbidities that could make him more susceptible to a severe bout of the virus.”
Trump’s announcement came after Bloomberg News reported that Hicks, one of his closest advisers, had tested positive. Two hours later, Trump confirmed the news in a Fox interview.
Hicks had been in extensive close contact with Trump as part of a small group that helped prepare him for the debate and traveled with him earlier this week.
Hicks tested negative for the virus on Wednesday and traveled with the president aboard Air Force One, according to CBS News’ Weijia Jiang. She developed symptoms during the day and later tested positive.
The White House knew of Hicks’ positive test by Wednesday night or Thursday morning, but Trump still traveled to a fundraiser on Thursday afternoon, hours before testing positive himself, according to Jiang and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Hicks did not make the trip and the president traveled with a smaller team that usual, according to NBC News.