President Donald Trump had already been notified he had tested positive for the coronavirus by the time he appeared on Fox News for an interview Thursday night, but he didn’t disclose it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
During an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump merely confirmed that one of his aides, Hope Hicks, had been diagnosed with coronavirus. He said he wouldn’t receive his results until later that night or the following morning.
But according to the Journal, Trump had already received a positive coronavirus test by the time he appeared on Hannity’s show, and the test he announced early Friday was the second he’d taken.
Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later on Friday for what White House chief of staff Mark Meadows called a “very concerning” period.
In the days since, his doctors and administration have tried to patch together a timeline of his illness that masks the likelihood that Trump wantonly spread the disease at events he attended maskless throughout the week, including the presidential debate. But instead of spinning the story to Trump’s favor, the clumsy, contradictory statements added to concerns about the president’s health and judgment.
On Sunday, the physician in charge of Trump’s treatment, Dr. Sean Conley, admitted he wasn’t transparent with reporters a day earlier when he refused to answer whether Trump needed supplemental oxygen. Conley said he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team [and] the president over the course of his illness.”
Trump is among several Republicans who have announced positive coronavirus diagnoses in recent days. A number of infected Republicans attended a large ceremony Trump hosted in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 to announce his nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump, even while hospitalized, has tried to convey an image of vitality.
In viral images shared by the White House on Twitter, Trump is seen sitting at a table in Walter Reed, purportedly working. Social media users noted it looks as though the photo is staged, with the president signing a blank sheet of paper.
Trump left Walter Reed briefly in a motorcade on Sunday to wave at some of his supporters outside, potentially exposing Secret Service agents inside the vehicle to the virus.
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