President Trump initially dismissed the threat of the virus by likening it to the common flu.


WASHINGTON — President Trump said early Friday morning that he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, throwing the nation's leadership into uncertainty and escalating the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000Americans and devastated the economy.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter shortly before 1 a.m. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

The president's physician said Mr. Trump was “well” without saying whether he was experiencing symptoms and added that the president would stay isolated in the White House for now.

“The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” the physician, Sean P. Conley, said in a statement without saying how long that would be. “Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”

Other aides to the president would not say whether he was experiencing symptoms, but people at the White House noticed that his voice sounded raspy on Thursday, although it was not clear that it was abnormal for him, especially given the number of campaign rallies he has been holding lately.