Donald Trump knew about his positive rapid test for COVID-19 on Thursday, but did not disclose it during an appearance on Fox News, a new report claims.
Trump told the network that night that a White House aide had tested positive but did not reveal his own test, reported the Wall Street Journal, via the Independent. Trump said during the appearance that he would receive his results later that night or the next morning, and hours later, he took to Twitter to announce that both he and the first lady had contracted coronavirus.
The report noted that after the rapid test came back positive, he was administered a more reliable one using a sample from deeper in his nasal passage.
Even those within the inner circle were kept in the dark, the report added, noting that campaign manager Bill Stepien did not know that Hope Hicks had contracted coronavirus until he saw it on the news.
The situation remained unclear within the administration after Trump revealed his own status, with another official telling the Wall Street Journal that they were forced to take to social media to learn what was going on.
“I’m glued to Twitter and TV because I have no official communication from anyone in the West Wing,” the unnamed official said.
The White House has been criticized for what many see as a lack of transparency and a series of conflicting reports on Trump’s health. After initial reports that he was experiencing light symptoms, others within the administration painted a more dire picture and noted that Trump’s oxygen fell to worrying levels, prompting his trip to the hospital on Saturday.
It was also revealed that Trump did not have a clear path to recovery through Saturday, though his condition appeared to improve by Sunday and there were reports that he could be discharged as early as Monday.
But there were still lingering questions about just how long officials knew about the coronavirus cases, including Hicks, whose status was the first to be reported.
Others have criticized the president for what they see as a failure to take precaution against the virus, both for his own health and those around him. A number of those close to the White House who contracted the virus this week had attended a ceremony honoring the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the current Supreme Court vacancy, a reception that had people sitting closely near one another and many were not wearing masks.