Hicks, 31, is one of the president’s closest advisers who recently traveled with him on Air Force One to the debate in Cleveland.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he and first lady Melania Trump are beginning the self-quarantine process after Hope Hicks, one of his closest senior advisers, tested positive for the coronavirus.
She is among the highest-profile members of the administration to test positive and is in frequent contact with Trump, but there is no indication the president has contracted the virus.
Hicks, 31, recently traveled on the Marine One helicopter and on Air Force One with the president to Cleveland for Tuesday’s debate along with roughly 20 to 30 aides and family members and was seen backstage. Hicks was also on the plane traveling to Trump’s rally in Minnesota Wednesday night, along with the president’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, and with Dan Scavino, another top White House adviser.
She was seen in a photo on Wednesday not wearing a mask after exiting Marine One with Kushner and White House aide Stephen Miller.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that those who test positive should self-isolate, monitor symptoms and wear a mask when around other people. If symptoms, such as trouble breathing, get worse, the CDC says to seek emergency medical care immediately.
The president confirmed Hicks, whose diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg News, during a phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night and said he and the first lady have been tested but had not yet heard the results.
“Whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don’t know,” Trump told Hannity. “I just went for a test and we’ll see what happens.”
He also called Hicks a “warm” person with military members and “it’s very hard to say ‘stay back.'”
Trump later tweeted that he and the first lady will begin isolating until they receive their results.
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Judd Deere, the White House deputy press secretary, did not confirm Hicks’ positive test results in a statement to NBC News but instead described the administration’s safety precautions.
“The President takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously,” he said. “White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling.
The former White House communications director and top press aide to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign returned to the White House in February to work closely with Kushner.
Hicks departed the White House in 2018 and took on a senior role in Fox Corp.’s communications office.
Hicks, a former model, had no political experience before she joined the Trump campaign in 2016. Before that, she worked for Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Her 2018 resignation came one day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Hicks was referred to nearly 180 times in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the matter.
Earlier this year, several White House staffers, including Secret Service personnel, tested positive for the virus after a Trump rally. One of President Trump’s personal valets, who works in the West Wing serving the president his meals, among other duties, tested positive for the coronavirus in May