WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is experiencing mild symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus, administration officials said on Friday, as the White House and presidential election campaign scrambled to adjust to the bombshell development.
Trump, who has played down the threat of the coronavirus pandemic from the outset, said he and his wife Melania had tested positive for the deadly virus and were going into quarantine. Their son Barron had tested negative, a White House official said.
Trump is not incapacitated and is working in isolation to avoid infecting others, a White House official said. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the president, 74, was exhibiting mild symptoms. They gave no more details.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump said in a tweet early on Friday morning.
Wall Street tumbled at news of one of the biggest health scares involving an American president for decades, with the S&P 500 plunging more than %1.5 at the opening.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife tested negative, a Pence spokesman said. The White House official said Pence would work from his own residence several miles from the White House and his staff was being kept separated from Trump’s staff “out of an abundance of caution.”
Pence, 61, a conservative former U.S. lawmaker and Indiana governor, would take over if Trump were to become incapacitated.
The president’s illness upended his re-election campaign with just 31 days left to go until the presidential election. Polls show Trump trailing his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden said on Twitter that he and his wife Jill wished Trump and the first lady a speedy recovery. “We will continue to pray for the health and