Trump catches Covid: what we know and what we don't

Washington (AFP) –

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President Donald Trump's diagnosis as Covid-19 positive adds extraordinary drama to an already fast-moving and tumultuous US election campaign.

Here is a summary of the current state of events:

- Where is Trump now? -

Trump is in quarantine in the White House, along with his wife Melania. The official White House doctor said they plan to remain there while they recover.

On Thursday, Trump did not immediately isolate after his close aid Hope Hicks tested positive.

Instead, he boarded a plane to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser and delivered a speech surrounded by dozens of people before returning to the White House.

His office dropped his planned appearances on Friday including a fundraiser at his hotel in Washington and a rally in Florida.

It is uncertain when he will be able to attend campaign events ahead of the November 3 vote.

- Does he have symptoms? -

Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows said that the president had "mild symptoms' but was in "good spirits."

Trump's doctor earlier said the president and his wife were "well". Melania tweeted in the early hours of Friday that "we are feeling good."

The New York Times quoted unnamed sources saying Trump showed mild symptoms at the Friday night fundraiser at his golf club in New Jersey, seeming lethargic.

One source told the paper he had displayed cold-like symptoms.

As a 74-year-old man, Trump is "at higher risk for severe illness" from the virus, according to the US health agency CDC.

Trump will be monitored closely for the wide range of common symptoms which include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle ache and headache.

- How did he get it? -

It is unknown how Trump contracted the virus that causes Covid-19, but he has defied medical advice during the election campaign by seldom wearing a mask and often meeting and speaking to large groups of people.

White House alarm bells started to ring when his aide Hicks tested positive. She is a central figure in Trump's inner circle and travelled with him several times over the last week.

She was also closely involved in his preparations for Tuesday's debate against presidential challenger Joe Biden. At the televised event, many of Trump's guests did not wear masks.

After Hick's diagnosis, Trump was quoted as suggesting it was difficult for him to socially distance from his secret service and the military personnel and police who are around him.

- Who else in the White House has it? -

Vice President Mike Pence, who would step in if Trump falls seriously ill, tested negative on Friday, as did Trump's teenage son Barron.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, who are close advisors also tested negative, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tested positive several days ago, it was announced Friday.

Many other senior politicians, officials and military officers who work or visit the White House were getting tested on Friday.