Rudy Giuliani tests positive for COVID-19, latest in Trump's inner circle
US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Trump said on Twitter on Sunday (Dec 6).
WASHINGTON: Donald Trump on Sunday (Dec 6) tweeted that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has led the president's effort to undo his election loss, tested positive for COVID-19.
"Giuliani, by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, and who has been working tirelessly exposing the most corrupt election (by far!) in the history of the USA, has tested positive for the China Virus," Trump tweeted, using a term he applies to the coronavirus widely decried as racist and fanning conspiracy theories.
"Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!" the president added.
The 76-year-old former New York mayor is considered part of a high-risk group and the New York Times and ABC reported he was hospitalised on Sunday in Washington as the US faces a record surge in coronavirus cases.
Two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that Giuliani was at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, on Sunday and one said he had been admitted for treatment. The hospital did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation.
Giuliani tweeted his thanks to "friends and followers" Sunday evening for their concern about him.
"I'm getting great care and feeling good. Recovering quickly and keeping up with everything," he wrote on Twitter.
He has been seen frequently without a mask - CNN showed footage of him Thursday in Atlanta walking maskless down a hall chatting with several other people whose faces were uncovered - and other members of his legal team presumably have been exposed.
Giuliani has led Trump's legal team in an attempt to overturn the presidential election.
Giuliani's son, Andrew Giuliani, also tested positive for COVID-19 about two weeks ago. Andrew works in the White House as a public liaison assistant to Trump.
Despite Andrew's diagnosis, Giuliani did not quarantine in order to assist Trump in his legal battles to contest the election.
In the past few weeks, Giuliani has traveled to battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona to appear at campaign events that aim to allege voter fraud in those states. However, judges in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan have all dismissed cases in recent weeks, citing lack of evidence.
The Trump campaign said in a statement that Giuliani tested negative twice before his visits to Arizona, Michigan and Arizona. Unidentified Trump team members who had close contact with Giuliani are in self-isolation.
“The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 until more than 48 hours after his return,” according to the statement.
“No legislators in any state or members of the press are on the contact tracing list, under current CDC Guidelines.”
After news of Giuliani's test, the Arizona state legislature said it would close both chambers this week out of caution "for recent cases and concerns relating to COVID-19". Giuliani met with about a dozen Republican lawmakers there last week.
Giuliani is the most recent member of Trump's team to test positive for COVID-19, with Trump himself contracting the virus in early October, followed by his chief of staff, press secretary, campaign manager and several advisers.
Many of them, including Giuliani, followed Trump's example, often ignoring health experts' guidance and attending White House and political events without masks.
David Gergen, a senior advisor in four US administrations, noted on CNN that while dozens of people around Trump had now contracted the virus, only one or two in Biden's camp had done so.
The lesson, Gergen said: "The cavalier attitude taken by the Trump people is only going to get you closer to catching this stuff ...
"It's just as plain as it can be."
For the third day in a row, the United States on Saturday notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours, reaching nearly 230,000 new infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.