Hicks, one of Trump’s closest and most trusted aides, traveled on Air Force One with the president to Cleveland for Tuesday’s presidential debate and to Minnesota for a rally on Wednesday, Bloomberg said. She was photographed leaving Air Force One in Cleveland while not wearing a mask.
Trump told Fox News on Thursday night that he and first lady Melania Trump were tested for the coronavirus in response to Hicks’s infection. He later announced in a tweet that he and the first lady had tested positive for the disease and were quarantining. The White House canceled Trump’s travel plans but said he would continue with his duties.
People close to Hicks told Bloomberg that she was experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. It’s unclear, however, what those symptoms were and for how long she’d been experiencing them.
White House officials have known since at least Wednesday evening that she had tested positive for the virus, the New York Times reported.
A White House spokesperson did not confirm Hicks’s positive test when asked, saying only that Trump “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”
“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said.
Hicks, a former model and public relations consultant who previously worked for the Trump Organization, returned to the White House as Trump’s counselor in February after resigning in March 2018 from her role as White House communications director.
Several White House employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller and one of Trump’s personal valets.
This story has been updated with the Trumps’ diagnosis.
Liza Hearon contributed to this article.