President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus, along with numerous high-level officials in Trump’s administration and campaign, as well as several prominent Republican politicians.
Here’s a timeline of the President’s days leading up to his positive diagnosis and the aftermath, as well as developments affecting the highest levels of the US government.
Friday, September 25: From Florida to Georgia to Washington to Virginia
President Trump awoke in Florida after a campaign rally with a day of zig-zag travel along the East Coast.
11:10 a.m. ET: Trump participates in a Latinos for Trump event at his golf club in Doral, Florida. An audience of about 200 people sat in spaced-out chairs and there were a combination of those wearing masks and not wearing masks.
12:32 p.m. ET: Trump departs Miami for Atlanta. Those traveling with the President on his trip included national security adviser Robert O’Brien, chief of staff Mark Meadows, social media adviser Dan Scavino and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
2:02 p.m. ET: Trump arrives in Atlanta for remarks on a Black empowerment plan. On the tarmac he was greeted by: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife Marty, Sen. Sen. David Perdue, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Rep. Doug Collins, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, Rep. Drew Ferguson, and officials from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, where he landed: Maj Gen John Healy, Maj Gen Thomas Carden and Col. Craig McPike.
3:09 p.m. ET: Trump speaks at the Black empowerment event, held at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Among those who participated was Housing Secretary Ben Carson. Reporters traveling with Trump estimated there were several hundred people in the room.
4:37 p.m. ET: Trump departs Atlanta for Washington.
6:05 p.m. ET: Trump arrives and speaks to a group of reporters at Joint Base Andrews.
6:29 p.m. ET: Trump arrives at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for a fundraising event. A person familiar with the event said there were roughly 100 people in attendance, some of whom (those who came in closest proximity to the President) were tested for coronavirus.
8:00 p.m. ET: Trump departs Washington for Newport News, Virginia, where he held a campaign rally. Those traveling with the President included Hope Hicks, Scavino, Meadows and Judd Deere.
10:15 p.m. ET: Trump wraps his campaign rally and flies back to Washington.
Saturday, September 26: Supreme Court nomination and a rally
Trump spent much of Saturday with the woman he nominated to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court: Amy Coney Barrett. She and her family – including her husband and seven children – were all on hand at the White House, and met with Trump, the first lady and the Pences in the Oval Office.
5:00 p.m. ET: Trump announces from the Rose Garden that Barrett is his nominee for the Supreme Court. He is joined by a large crowd, including Barrett’s family, the first lady, members of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s family, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Rev. Paula White, Kellyanne Conway, White House counsel Pat Cippolone, Meadows, Attorney General William Barr, daughter Tiffany Trump, the Vice President and second lady, Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Josh Hawley, Ben Sasse and Mike Lee, and members of his senior staff.
6:25 p.m. ET: Trump departs the White House for a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania. He stops and speaks with reporters as he departs. He is joined by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, top aide Stephen Miller and Scavino.
7:42 p.m. ET: Trump begins rally in front of large crowd, many of whom were not wearing masks.
9:08 p.m. ET: Trump departs Pennsylvania. On his return flight to Washington, he spoke to reporters off-the-record for about 10 minutes.
Sunday, September 27: Golf, debate prep and a press conference
Two days ahead of the first presidential debate, President Trump spent at least some of Sunday in prep sessions with his team. He also visited his golf course and convened a press conference before holding a reception for Gold Star families at the White House.
9:28 p.m. ET: President Trump departs the White House for his golf course in Virginia.
10:30 p.m. ET: Trump is spotted by CNN cameras on the course, though his partners could not be discerned.
2:38 p.m. ET: Trump returns to the White House, where officials say he participated in some debate prep sessions with advisers including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Conway, campaign manager Bill Stepien, Jason Miller and Stephen Miller. Christie said on Friday that no one wore masks in the sessions.
5:31 p.m. ET: Trump convenes a press conference in the briefing room. McEnany, Giuliani and Christie join him off to the side.
6:00 p.m. ET: Trump and the first lady appeared at an event honoring Gold Star Families in the East Room. Attendees included Pence, Karen Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Gold Star Father Steven Xiarhos, numerous military aides and Gold Star Families.
Monday, September 28: At the White House
The President spent Monday at the White House, partly in preparation for the next day’s debate.
11:05 a.m. ET: Trump appears on the White House South Lawn aside trade adviser Peter Navarro, Sen. Rob Portman, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and two autoworkers (names unknown) to hail a new electric pickup truck.
3:40 p.m. ET: Trump appears in the Rose Garden to hail a new testing strategy for coronavirus. “I say it all the time, we are rounding the corner,” Trump said during the event. Also attending in the Rose Garden, socially distanced from the President: Vice President Mike Pence, health adviser Scott Atlas, advisers Douglas Hoelscher, Brad Smith, Ja’Ron Smith, Quellie Moorhead, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, HHS official Admiral Brett Giroir, Indian Health Service director Rear Admiral Michael Weahkee, HHS official Dr. Tammy Beckham, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Texas State Sen. Robert Taylor, Texas State Rep. Dan Huberty, and Abbott Labs CEO Robert Ford.
Later in the day, Trump participated in debate prep sessions, according to people familiar with the matter. Those who were present in the Map Room during the sessions included Christie, Giuliani, Hicks, Conway, Stepien, Jason Miller and Stephen Miller.
Tuesday, September 29: Presidential debate
Trump remained out of sight at the White House until departing for the first presidential debate in Cleveland.
2:30 p.m. ET: The President boards Air Force One alongside the first lady headed for Cleveland. Aboard Air Force One to Cleveland were Melania Trump, daughter-in-law Lara Trump, son Eric Trump, daughter Tiffany Trump, son Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign finance chairwoman Kim Guilfoyle, Scavino, Hicks, daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, O’Brien, Meadows, Stepien, Rep. Jim Jordan and criminal justice reform advocate Alice Johnson, who was a guest of the President’s at the debate.
3:30 p.m. ET: Trump lands in Cleveland and was met on the tarmac by Ohio state Rep. Bernadine Kent, James Whitaker and Bob Paduchik.
4:22 p.m. ET: Trump does a walkthrough of the debate stage without wearing a mask.
4:50 p.m. ET: Trump arrives at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, where he was holding until the debate. Giuliani was spotted at the hotel before the debate.
8:30 p.m. ET: Trump and his entourage depart the hotel for the debate site at the Cleveland Clinic. Signs in the debate hall read: “Covid-19 Safety Reminders: Wear Facemask Maintain Physical Distance of 6 feet” with the 2020 presidential debate logo.
9:00 p.m. ET: Trump’s family arrives in the debate hall without wearing masks, though some photographed themselves wearing masks backstage and posted them to social media. Journalists reported seeing officials from the Cleveland Clinic offering members of Trump’s family masks, but none put them on.
9:05 p.m. ET: Trump debates rival Joe Biden mask-less but maintaining social distance. During the debate, he mocks Biden for frequently wearing a mask – “He could be speaking 200 feet away from them and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said – and suggests testing makes it possible for him to hold major campaign rallies. “I put a mask on when I think I need it. Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to, but I wear masks when needed,” he said.
11:30 p.m. ET: Trump departs Cleveland with much of the same entourage in tow, though some remained behind in Cleveland.
Wednesday, September 30: Visit to Minnesota
The President and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met in the Oval Office Wednesday morning. Mnuchin then went to Capitol Hill and met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in person for 90 minutes, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for 25 minutes, Phil Mattingly reports.
2:38 p.m. ET: Trump emerges from the Oval Office and walked to gathered press to speak, without wearing a mask. Reporters wear masks at the White House.
3:05 p.m. ET: Trump departs for Minnesota. Aboard Air Force One were US Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn; Hicks, Stephen Miller, Kushner, Scavino and Meadows.
5:08 p.m. ET: Trump arrives in Minneapolis, where he was attending a fundraiser. He was greeted on the tarmac by state Sen. Paul Gazelka and his wife Maralee Gazelka, Leader Kurt Daudt, Senate candidate Jason Lewis, and National Guard officials Major General Shawn Manke, Col. James Cleet, and Chief Master Sargent Mark Legvold.
6:04 p.m. ET: Trump arrives at his fundraiser at a private residence in the Minneapolis area. The attendees of the fundraiser aren’t known.
8:58 p.m. ET: Trump arrives in Duluth for a campaign rally. His rally was shorter than usual – only around 45 minutes – and he departed as soon as it ended.
10:20 p.m. ET: Trump departs Duluth on Air Force One. On the way home, officials said Hicks began displaying symptoms and isolated in a separate cabin. She is seen deplaning from the rear steps.
Thursday, October 1: Fundraisers and testing
Officials at the White House were aware that Hicks had tested positive for coronavirus, though it’s not clear exactly when her results came back. Still, Trump went ahead with his schedule, including a fundraiser in New Jersey.
Roughly 1:00 p.m. ET: Hicks tests positive for coronavirus. Meadows tells reporters on Friday they learned of her test just before Trump departed for Bedminster. Some White House staffers who were in close proximity were notified of the positive test result later in the day, one official said.
1:14 p.m. ET: Trump departs the White House without speaking to reporters. He is joined on his trip to New Jersey by personal aide John McEntee and deputy press secretary Judd Deere.
2:33 p.m. ET: Trump arrived at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for a fundraiser. It’s not known who attended.
4:45 p.m. ET: Trump departs Bedminster, slightly ahead of schedule.
6:00 p.m. ET: Trump arrives to the White House without speaking to reporters.
Sometime after his return from Bedminster: Trump receives a preliminary positive rapid test result. “He’s tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster,” McEnany told reporters.
8:15 p.m. ET: In remarks recorded earlier in the day, Trump addresses the annual Al Smith dinner, which was convened virtually this year because of coronavirus. “I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country,” Trump said.
8:40 p.m. ET: CNN reports Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.
9:45 p.m. ET: In a phone interview on Fox News, Trump confirms Hicks tested positive, and suggests she may have contracted it from members of the military or law enforcement. “They want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. You get close and things happen,” he said. Trump added, “I just went for a test and we’ll see what happens.”
10:05 p.m. ET: The White House releases Trump’s schedule for Friday reflecting an in-person fundraiser in Washington and a campaign rally in Florida.
10:44 p.m. ET: Trump tweets, “The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”
12:54 a.m. ET: Trump tweets, “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”
After Trump’s diagnosis: “Following PCR-confirmation of the President’s diagnosis, as a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. He completed the infusion without incident,” White House physician Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley says in a Friday afternoon memo.
1:05 a.m. ET: The White House releases a memo from Conley, saying Trump and the first lady tested positive. “They plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” he wrote. “The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions.”
1:11 a.m. ET: The White House issues a new schedule for Friday showing only one event: a midday phone call on Covid-19 support to vulnerable seniors.
Thursday evening: Conley says in a briefing Sunday that Trump was “doing well with only mild symptoms” and his oxygen saturation levels were in the “high 90s.”
Friday, October 2: At the White House, transport to Walter Reed
Between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. ET: Trump speaks with O’Brien.
Friday morning: Trump speaks with Meadows. “The President was kind of barking out orders for all of us, giving us tasks this morning to follow through. He’s on the phone,” Larry Kudlow says on Fox News.
10:44 a.m. ET: Meadows speaks to the press without a mask. “I fully expect that as this virus continues to go on, other people in the White House will have a positive test result,” he says.
10:52 a.m. ET: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweets that he “just finished a great call with POTUS.”
Late Friday morning: Conley says in a briefing Sunday that Trump had “a high fever” and his oxygen levels were “transiently dipping below 94%.” Trump was given supplemental oxygen “for about an hour.”
“Fortunately, that was really a very transient limited episode, a couple hours later he was back up. Mild again,” Conley said Sunday.
11:42 a.m. ET: Lee, a Utah Republican, announces in a tweet that he has tested positive for Covid-19.
1:00 p.m. ET: Pence leads call on vulnerable seniors in Trump’s absence: “I know many of you were expecting to hear from President Trump today, but as I’m sure you are all aware, President Trump and the first lady tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday,” Pence said, per audio of the call obtained by CNN. The White House downplayed the President’s “slight schedule change.”
2:17 p.m. ET: Pence’s doctor, Jesse Schonau, releases a memo on Pence’s health, saying the vice president tested negative for Covid-19 “earlier this morning.” Schonau writes that Pence is “not considered a close contact with any individuals who have tested positive for COVID, including President Donald J. Trump” and “does not need to quarantine.”
Later Friday: Trump “had been up out of bed moving about the residence with only mild symptoms,” Conley says Sunday.
4:11 p.m. ET: Conley releases a memo about Trump’s Regeneron treatment and provides an update: “As of this afternoon, the President remains fatigued but in good spirits. He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps. First Lady Melania Trump remains well with only a mild cough and headache, and the remainder of the First Family are well and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 today.”
5:15 p.m. ET: The White House press pool reports that the President will go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
5:18 p.m. ET: McEnany says in a statement that Trump will remain at Walter Reed “for the next few days.”
6:16 p.m. ET: Trump, wearing a suit and mask, boards Marine One for Walter Reed.
6:31 p.m. ET: Marine One lands at Walter Reed. The President disembarks and boards a motorcade SUV.
6:31 p.m. ET: The President tweets a video message taped at the White House: “I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed Hospital. I think I’m doing very well. We’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will never forget it. Thank you,” he says.
Friday evening: CNN reports that White House officials have serious concerns about Trump’s health. A Trump adviser said there is reason for concern about Trump’s health tonight. “This is serious,” the source said. The source went on to describe Trump as very tired, very fatigued, and having some trouble breathing.
8:10 p.m. ET: Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, announces he has tested positive for Covid-19.
10:16 p.m. ET: Conway tweets that she has tested positive for Covid-19. She has a “mild cough” and has begun a quarantine process.
11:31 p.m. ET: The President tweets from Walter Reed: “Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!”
11:34 p.m. ET: In a new memorandum released by the press secretary, Conley reports that Trump is “doing very well” and “is not requiring any supplemental oxygen.” Conley confirms that Trump has completed a first dose of Remdesivir therapy “and is resting comfortably.”
11:58 p.m. ET: CNN reports that Stepien has tested positive for Covid-19.
Saturday, October 3: At Walter Reed
Sometime Saturday: The President had a second episode of his oxygen level dropping. “Yesterday there was another episode where it dropped down to about 93%,” Conley said on Sunday. “We watched it and it returned back up.” Trump’s physicians decided to give him the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone, which has been shown to help patients with Covid-19 and is typically given to patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilation.
“In response to transient low oxygen levels, as Dr. Conley has discussed, we did initiate dexamethasone therapy, and he received his first dose of that yesterday,” Dr. Brian Garibaldi, one of Trump’s doctors, said during Sunday’s briefing.
8:57 a.m. ET: Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, tests positive for Covid-19, his office says in a statement.
Saturday morning: Pence and Karen Pence test negative for Covid-19.
11:37 a.m. ET: Christie announces in a tweet he has tested positive for Covid-19.
11:40 a.m. ET: Conley and other members of the President’s medical team brief the press. Conley claims Trump is doing well and has been fever-free for 24 hours, contradicting CNN’s reporting. He says Trump is not on oxygen at that time.
12:08 p.m. ET: A source familiar with the President’s health contradicts Conley’s on-the-record statements, telling pool reporters, “The President’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.” That source is later identified as Meadows.
5:52 p.m. ET: Christie tweets that he has checked himself in to Morristown Medical Center with “mild symptoms” as a “precautionary measure.”
Saturday evening: The President completes a second dose of Remdesivir.
Sunday, October 4: At Walter Reed
Sunday morning: CNN reports Trump aide Nicholas Luna has tested positive for Covid-19.
11:40 a.m. ET: Conley and other members of the President’s medical team brief the press. Conley says Trump has improved. Conley says Meadows’ comments were “misconstrued” and defended his decision not to disclose that the President was administered oxygen: “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the President, his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so it came off that we’re trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”
Garibaldi tells reporters Trump could be discharged “as early as tomorrow.” “He’s been up and around. Our plan for today is to have him to eat and drink, be up out of bed as much as possible to be mobile,” Garibaldi said.
Midday Sunday: Pence and Karen Pence test negative for Covid-19.
Around 4 p.m. ET: Trump participates in a phone call with Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Esper, O’Brien, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley from in his conference room at Walter Reed. He is joined in the room by Meadows.
5:16 p.m. ET: Trump tweets a video from his Walter Reed suite saying that having Covid-19 has been “a very interesting journey.”
“I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the let’s read the book school and I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing. I’m gonna be letting you know about it. In the meantime, we love the USA and we love what’s happening.”
5:24 p.m. ET: Trump rides, via motorcade, past supporters gathered outside Walter Reed.
5:38 p.m. ET: White House pool is informed that the President is back at Walter Reed.
Sunday evening: The White House Management Office sends its first staff-wide email since Trump tested positive for coronavirus. The email states staffers should stay home and not contact the White House testing office if they have symptoms.
Sunday evening: The President receives a third dose of remdesivir, Conley confirms at Monday’s briefing.
Monday, October 5: At Walter Reed
8:37 a.m. ET: Meadows tells Fox News a decision about Trump’s discharge from Walter Reed will be made later Monday after a consultation between Trump and his doctors. Trump will be discharged “at the earliest, this afternoon.” He said Trump has made “unbelievable progress.”
Monday morning: Pence and Karen Pence test negative for Covid-19.
11:26 a.m. ET: McEnany tweets that she has tested positive with no symptoms and “will begin the quarantine process.”
Monday afternoon: CNN reports two of McEnany’s deputies have tested positive. Assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt tested positive a few days ago, and Chad Gilmartin, principal assistant press secretary and McEnany’s husband’s cousin, tested positive within the last 24 hours.
2:37 p.m. ET: The President announces in a tweet that he will be leaving Walter Reed: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
3:10 p.m. ET: The President’s physician says that Trump’s condition has “continued to improve” and has “met or exceeds all standard hospital discharge criteria.” Trump’s medical team confirms Trump will receive a fourth and fifth dose of remdesivir from the White House Monday and Tuesday nights, respectively, and continues on dexamethasone.
Conley acknowledged that the President “may not be entirely out of the woods yet,” but said Trump’s current condition supported a “safe return home.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the time Trump tweeted about his positive Covid-19 test. It has also been updated with additional developments.