Trump and first lady test positive for coronavirus, sparking White House contact tracing effort

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump and his wife Melania have tested positive for Covid-19, throwing the country’s leadership and the 2020 election into uncharted territory.

Here’s what we know so far.

President Trump and his wife Melania test positive for coronavirus

President Donald Trump announced just before 1 a.m. ET that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted.

The White House physician, Sean Conley, released a letter about Trump’s diagnosis, saying, “The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

The announcement immediately throws into question the nature of the remaining 32 days of the campaign, including the last two presidential debates. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

The news came shortly after the president said he and the first lady were in the “quarantine process” following senior aide Hope Hicks’ positive test Thursday.

Stock futures plunged in early Friday trading after the announcement. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted over 500 points.

While the news that the president had tested positive for Covid-19 came as a jolt — medical experts said it shouldn’t have.

In recent weeks, Trump, 74, has held mass gatherings, some indoors, and shunned mask use while claiming the end of the virus was just around the corner.

In turn, his staff, his family members, and his supporters have followed his lead. As recently as Tuesday evening at the first presidential debate, Trump family members and other members of the administration did not wear masks inside the hall, despite a rule