US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a development that is likely to affect his hectic election campaign.
"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" 74-year-old Trump tweeted.
In a statement, Trump's physician Dr Sean Conley said the president and the first lady "are both well at this time", and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.
"Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering," Conley added.
While netizens Googled to check if the news was true or fake, the other keywords that popped up at the same time were “The Simpsons”.
This is because the American sitcom has headlined in the past for its eerie predictions on world affairs.
Claim: A section of Twitter users shared a picture of an animated Trump lookalike laying in a coffin. Many went on to add that the show apparently predicted the US president’s death, giving the coronavirus as its cause.
Fact: While the origin of this particular image remains untraceable, it is safe to say that ‘The Simpsons’ did not air any such episode.
The image in question was first circulated in 2017. However, according to Snopes, the picture is morphed and therefore fake.
Conclusion: ‘The Simpsons’ have shown impressive ability to predict the future including Trump being elected as the US president. With that being said, it is of paramount importance to wait before hitting the share button and investigate the credibility of such claims.
Meanwhile, Trump's all engagements outside of the White House were cancelled. He was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.
"As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together," Melania tweeted.
Trump's "diagnosis amounts to the most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades," the CNN said. "At 74 years old, Trump falls into the highest risk category for serious complications from the disease." "His infection with the disease could prove destabilizing in an already fraught political climate, and stock market futures tumbled on news of Trump's infection," it said.
On Tuesday night, Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden had their first presidential debate. The second presidential debate is scheduled for October 15, which falls immediately after the mandatory quarantine period. The third and final debate is scheduled for October 22.
Trump and Melania were tested for COVID19 hours after one of their close aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Several White House staffers have tested positive with COVID-19 in recent months, including the National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary.
The deadly virus has so far killed more than 200,000 people and infected over 7 million others in the US.
With PTI inputs