US President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 hours before he appeared for an interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday night, it has been claimed. Trump had allegedly lied to the Fox News host that he will 'get his test back either tonight or tomorrow morning,' the report said.
The US President had also asked an aide, who tested positive for the virus, to not tell anyone, an explosive report in The Wall Street Journal revealed.
In a tweet posted at 1.00 am on Friday, Trump had disclosed that he and Melania Trump tested positive for the virus. "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" he wrote.
Why Did Trump Hid His Initial COVID-19 Diagnosis?
The report said the US President tested positive for COVID-19, following a rapid-result coronavirus test on Thursday evening. Later, during an interview with Hannity, he said: "I'll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning." According to the outlet, Trump was waiting for the results of a more comprehensive test before he announced his health status to the world.
The outlet further claimed that apart from keeping his status under wraps, Trump also asked one of his advisors, who tested positive for the virus, to keep mum. "Don't tell anyone," Trump reportedly told an infected adviser. Despite the virus ravaging through the White House inner circle, including Trump's closest aide Hope Hicks testing positive, Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien was also kept in the dark, claimed the outlet.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to confirm if Trump was tested before the presidential debate last Tuesday. Saying that she wouldn't give a 'time-stamped' readout of when the President was tested, McEnany said Trump first tested positive on Thursday.
Chaos in White House Staff Members
Trump was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center soon after he announced his results on Twitter. In a tweet posted on Sunday from the hospital, Trump wrote: "I really appreciate all of the fans and supporters outside of the hospital. The fact is, they really love our Country and are seeing how we are MAKING IT GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!" Later, the doctors treating him said that the US President might be discharged on Monday.
According to the Daily Mail, the secrecy over the fact when Trump was first tested positive have caused a lot of chaos and fear among the White House staffers.
The virus has so far infected at least 12 people working at the White House, reported the outlet. Speaking with Intelligencer, a senior White House official claimed that the paranoid attempts to avoid leaks have not only failed, but are threatening the health and safety of staff.
"Ninety percent of the [White House] complex most certainly learned about it in the news, as has been the case ever since. There are reports that COVID is spreading like wildfire through the White House. Since this whole thing started, not one email has gone out to tell employees what to do or what's going on," said the official.
Addressing the media outside Walter Reed, Trump's personal physician Sean Conley said that Trump was doing very well. "The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. He's been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic," he said.