ATLANTA — In the early hours Friday morning, President Donald Trump let America know stunning news through a Tweet: both he and the first lady have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Trump said in a post sent around 1 a.m. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
The announcement comes just more than a month out from the Nov. 3 election and days after his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, slammed him during the first debate for his poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Thursday night, it was reported Hope Hicks, the president's advisor who traveled with him on Air Force One multiple times this week, tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday after their diagnosis, the President’s physician said in a notice that both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump “are both well at this time” and they plan to remain quarantined at the White House.
Georgia politicians took to social media to offer well wishes to the president. Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted “Georgia is praying” for Trump and his wife.
During a trip to Atlanta last Friday, Kemp and other Georgia politicians greeted the President as he arrived in Air Force One and attended his Black Voices for Trump rally in Cobb County. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler as well as Congressman Doug Collins attended.
Kemp has since tested negative for COVID-19 ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Georgia this week, Cody Hall, spokesman for the governor, said.
At noon on Friday, Biden tweeted that both he and his wife, Jill Biden, have tested negative for COVID-19. During the presidential debate Tuesday, although they shared a stage with no masks, Trump and Biden did not shake hands and stayed separated.
“Jill and I send out thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden tweeted Friday morning. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family."
Biden added after he tested negative that he "hopes this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."
In a tweet that gained widespread criticism from Republicans, Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams pointed out that Trump should have been more cautious.
“Looks like somebody should be more consistent wearing a mask like our next POTUS @JoeBiden!” she tweeted.
Democrats have long upheld that Trump and his campaign have been “callous” with the health and safety of voters as Republicans continued hosting large rallies and door-knocking.
But Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who tested positive for COVID-19 in July, offered support.
“A COVID-19 diagnosis is unsettling, and even more so when a loved one also tests positive,” she tweeted.
Loeffler, who is fighting to keep her Senate seat in a crowded special election, blamed China for Trump’s diagnosis.
“Remember: China gave this virus to our President,” she tweeted. “…WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE."
Blue Ridge Republican House Speaker David Ralston said in a statement: “Just as we have prayed for all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including many friends and neighbors, we pray today for President Trump and the First Lady. May they have a swift and speedy recovery.”