US President Donald Trump said Friday he had tested positive for Covid-19 and would quarantine inside the White House during his recovery, cancelling upcoming appearances on the campaign trail ahead of a bitterly fought election.
The White House doctor said both Trump and First Lady Melania — who also tested positive — were well and that Trump would continue his presidential “duties without disruption”.
The two were tested after a close White House aide Hope Hicks had tested positive earlier in the day, with the bombshell news breaking as more restrictions loomed in Europe in an attempt to contain the deadly pandemic.
Hicks was on board Air Force One with the president as he traveled to Cleveland, Ohio for the first presidential debate with his rival, Democrat Joe Biden, on Tuesday.
The president routinely receives tests for Covid-19, though the exact frequency is not clear.
US futures trading saw the Dow slump 1.7 percent on the news and the broader S&P 500 shed 1.6 percent, while the safe-haven yen rose against the dollar.
– Trump’s misinformation –
A study from Cornell University in the United States, meanwhile, said that Trump has been the world’s biggest driver of misinformation during the pandemic.
Evaluating 38 million articles published by English-language, traditional media worldwide between January 1 and May 26 of this year, a team identified 522,472 news articles that reproduced or amplified misinformation related to the pandemic.
The most popular topic was “miracle cures” that appeared in 295,351 articles. The authors found comments by Trump drove major spikes in that theme.
In India, meanwhile, new research suggested that a small group of super-spreaders was responsible for almost two-thirds of coronavirus cases in the world’s second-most populous nation.
The study, published in the journal Science, found that eight percent of all people carrying the virus were responsible for 60 percent of new infections.