Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have been tested for COVID-19 and are currently in quarantine after Hope Hicks, one of the United States President’s top aides, tested positive for the disease.
Hicks, a top adviser to Trump, tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing symptoms. Hicks is known to regularly travel with the president on Air Force One and, along with other senior aides, had accompanied him to Ohio for the US presidential debate.
In a tweet, Trump said, “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!”
Hicks returned to the White House earlier this year after a stint in the private sector. She had previously served as Trump’s communications director and as a spokeswoman for his 2016 presidential campaign.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Trump has come under sharp criticism over his response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to more than two lakh deaths in the United States alone. The president has touted his management of the crisis.
Despite health professionals saying that mask-wearing is one of the most important things people can do to help prevent the spread of the virus, Trump and his staff regularly do not wear them. The president has even denigrated people who wear them regularly.
Reports suggest that Trump, his family and his aides regularly get tested for COVID-19, as a precautionary measure.