WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will carry out his duties "without disruption" while recovering from COVID-19, said the physician to the president Sean Conley on Friday (Oct 2).
Conley's statement came after Trump tweeted that he and first lady Melania have tested positive with the coronavirus.
"The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence," said Conley.
Trump, 74, is at high risk for the deadly virus both because of his age and because he is considered overweight. He has remained in good health during his time in office but is not known to exercise regularly or to follow a healthy diet.
"The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our our country's greatest medical professionals and institutions," said Conley.
"Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments."
The development alters the presidential race dramatically.
The White House issued a new schedule for Trump's activities on Friday that did not include his planned trip to Florida. Trump has held regular rallies around the country to drum up enthusiasm for his candidacy against Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is ahead in national opinion polls.
Biden wished Trump and Melania a swift recovery on Friday.
"Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family," Biden said on Twitter.
"WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS"
Trump earlier said that he and his wife would immediately be quarantined and begin the "recovery process", adding: "We will get through this."
His positive test follows news that Hope Hicks, a top adviser and trusted aide, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Hicks travels regularly with the president on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, accompanied him to Ohio for the presidential debate on Tuesday and to Minnesota for a campaign event on Wednesday.
Trump, who is tested regularly for the virus that causes COVID-19, has held rallies with thousands of people in recent weeks in the run-up to the Nov 3 election, despite warnings from public health professionals against having events with large crowds.
The president largely eschews wearing masks and has criticised others who do. Public health professionals say mask-wearing is key to helping to prevent the virus from spreading.
Trump's positive test caps a months-long response to the virus, the seriousness of which he has consistently underplayed. Earlier on Thursday night the president predicted that the end of the pandemic was in sight.
Trump has come under sharp criticism for his response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people in the United States alone. The president has touted his management of the crisis.