It was news that, in hindsight, was perhaps inevitable but is no less shocking when first heard: President Donald Trump has contracted coronavirus, along with First Lady Melania Trump. “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” he wrote on Twitter. “We will get through this TOGETHER!” Here are five ways he might have contracted the virus—read on so you can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“Hope Hicks,” senior White House advisor, “who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible!” Trump tweeted on October 1st. He said he quarantined after hearing the news, awaiting his own test results—as should you, if anyone you’ve been in close contact with tests positive. Hicks, “who has been known to spend a lot of time with Trump, had traveled with the president to the debate Tuesday night in Cleveland,” reports CNBC. “She was seen not wearing a mask.”
Trump has both supported and mocked the wearing of face masks, choosing to wear them at his own discretion. During the September 29th debate with Joe Biden, Trump said: “I think masks are OK. You have to understand, if you look — I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it.” He pulled one out of his pocket. “Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test, and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to.”
He has been photographed both with and without a mask.
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Because the coronavirus is airborne, experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, have repeatedly advised: “Avoid crowds.” Instead, Trump has embraced them. One example: “A packed crowd of hundreds gathered in North Carolina for a Donald Trump campaign rally on Tuesday, with many people forgoing masks, in defiance of state guidelines capping gatherings at 50 people,” reported the Guardian earlier this month.
“Health experts have stressed that close contact indoors without masks and proper ventilation is one of the primary ways that coronavirus spreads,” reports the Today Show. “In a room with poor ventilation, enough droplets from a sneeze could linger in a cloud of particles even five minutes afterwards. However, with a ventilation system, the particles thin out quickly and within a minute, a majority of them are sucked up into the air intake vents in the ceiling, with some blown back down…Wearing a mask makes a crucial difference, allowing fewer particles to escape into the air after a sneeze.”
“Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” says the CDC.
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“When the president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, can catch this, the virus has no boundaries,” said Wang Huiyao, the founder and president of the Center for China and Globalization, an influential research group in Beijing. As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Get your flu shot, wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.