US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are self-isolating after both tested positive for Covid-19, the President has said.
“We will get through this,” Trump tweeted.
Trump later tweeted he and the first lady had tested positive: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” he said.
The US President’s positive test came after new that one of his top advisers, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for Covid-19.
Hicks travels regularly with the president on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, accompanied him to Ohio for the presidential debate on Tuesday.
US Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for coronavirus, his spokesman said, as has Steve Mnuchin.
Democrat nominee for President Joe Biden said he is awaiting results for his Covid-19 test, after meeting Trump for the first Presidential debate in Ohio this week.
Republican plans to controversially begin confirmation hearings for US. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on 12 October remain unchanged, despite Trump’s positive COVID-19 test result, a Senate aide said this afternoon.
The UK Government wished President Trump a speedy recovery.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent the US leader and Melania Trump his “best wishes”.
Johnson recovered from Covid-19 in April.
“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 News.
Markets were rattled as following the US leader’s tweets.
The FTSE 100 opened lower and is currently down more than 0.7 per cent to 5,837 points.
US stock futures extended losses on the news.
Futures for the S&P 500 fell 1.21% in Asia, while Treasury yields also fell.
The US dollar rose, particularly against the British pound, the Australian and New Zealand dollars in a sign of risk aversion.
The US President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has become a major issue in next month’s election.
More than 200,000 Americans have died of Covid-19, but Trump has been accussed of downplaying its severity, longevity and even suggested bleach could be used to treat it.
Trump’s positive could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for the hotly-contested presidential election in November.
“It has the potential to reduce Trump’s campaigning ability. He’s got a lot on and it’s an interruption,” said Sean Callow, currency strategist at Westpac in Sydney.
“It also hurts him as far as the whole narrative that it’s really not much to worry about – it puts the Covid-19 crisis itself back front and center.