Donald Trump is in “good spirits” after testing positive for coronavirus, the White House has said.
The president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told reporters on Friday that Trump has “mild symptoms” of Covid-19 after his positive test was confirmed in the early hours.
Trump announced his diagnosis in a tweet following a positive test from one of his closest aides.
Meadows said: “As all of you know, the president and the first lady tested positive for Covid-19. They remain in good spirits. The president does have mild symptoms.
“And as, as we look to try to make sure that not only his health and safety and welfare is good, we continue to look at that for all of the American people.
“He continues to be not only in good spirits, but very energetic. We’ve talked to a number of times this morning. I got the five or six things that he had tasked me to do, like I do every single morning. And he he is certainly wanting to make sure that we stay engaged.”
Hope Hicks returned a positive test on Thursday, with Trump later tweeting: “@FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
Trump, 74, is now experiencing “mild symptoms” of the virus which can notably cause fever, a cough and a loss of smell or taste.
US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also said that he spoke to the president by phone on Friday and found Trump to be in “good spirits”.
“He’s in good spirits and we talked business,” McConnell said in a statement on Twitter, adding that the two discussed the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve,” McConnell added.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care following his own positive test, has expressed his best wishes to Trump and first lady Melania, who also tested positive.
Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis is the latest among world leaders, with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also falling ill.
While waiting for the results of his test following Hicks’ diagnosis, Trump said he had found it difficult to socially distance while meeting members of the armed forces.
He told Fox News: “It’s very hard when you’re with soldiers, when you’re with airmen, when you’re with the marines, and with the police officers, I’m with them so much.
“And when they come over to you it’s very hard to say: ‘Stay back, stay back’ you know, it’s a tough kind of a situation, it’s a terrible thing.”
He added: “They come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them and you get close and things happen.”