The first lady said in an early-morning tweet that she and Donald Trump were quarantining at home ‘as too many Americans have done this year’.
‘We are feeling good and I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe and we will all get through this together,’ she said.
Melania, 50, and the president, 74, were both described as ‘well’ by White House physician Sean Conley who said medics would maintain a ‘vigilant watch’.
Melania Trump said she and the president were ‘feeling good’ as they began their White House quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19
The first lady said in an early-morning tweet that she and Donald Trump were quarantining at home ‘as too many Americans have done this year’
‘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,’ Dr Conley said.
‘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.
‘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.’
Donald Trump revealed the positive test results last night hours after the president’s aide Hope Hicks was confirmed to have contracted the virus.
The 31-year-old counselor to the president, who travelled with him on Air Force One this week, is the closest aide to Mr Trump to test positive so far.
She was part of Trump’s entourage who travelled to Cleveland, Ohio for Tuesday night’s debate against Joe Biden.
At the debate, Melania and other Trump family members wore masks when they entered the debate venue but took them off during the televised contest.
Trump, Pence and other senior staff have been tested daily, and everyone who comes into contact with the president also receives a quick-result test.
Previously, Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller tested positive and recovered from the virus in May, while one of Trump’s personal valets has also had the virus.
The president’s diagnosis is a blow to his claims that America has put the worst of the pandemic behind it as he battles for re-election on November 3.
There was no immediate word on whether 77-year-old Biden had been tested or whether he would isolate after spending Tuesday night near the president.
While there is currently no evidence that Trump is seriously ill, the positive test raises questions about what would happen if he were to become incapacitated.
Melania Trump had discarded her mask by the time she joined her husband Donald on stage following a rancorous first debate of the 2020 campaign
Under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, a president can declare themselves ‘unable to discharge the powers of the presidency’ and hand over power temporarily to the VP.
Alternatively, the vice-president and senior officials can declare the president incapacitated and temporarily put Pence in charge, but Trump could challenge this.
Trump joins UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro as the most high-profile leaders to contract the disease.
Johnson spent an alarming three nights in intensive care at a London hospital before eventually recovering, while Bolsonaro rode out the infection at home.
When Johnson was ill, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab deputised for him although the nature of his constitutional powers was not fully clear.
Germany’s Angela Merkel self-isolated after a doctor who gave her a jab tested positive, and Canada’s Justin Trudeau worked from home after his wife fell ill.
Markets reacted badly after Trump’s diagnosis today, with stock futures losing 1.9 per cent on the S&P 500, while oil prices also slipped.
‘To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement,’ Holland’s Rabobank said in a commentary.
‘Anyway, everything now takes a backseat to the latest incredible twist in this US election campaign.’