Stepien, 42, has mild flu-like symptoms, according to the campaign, and has gone into quarantine. He should continue to work from home.
The president’s campaign manager flew on Air Force One with Trump and a coterie of other assistants in Tuesday’s presidential debate. He was seen getting into a van with a White House aide Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksPresident Trump, Melania Trump has tested positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after senior assistant tests positive for coronavirus Trump assistant Hope Hicks has tested positive for COVID -19, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
Stepien’s positive test reflects how far the highly contagious virus has spread among the president’s key aides. Other people who traveled with the president included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Senior Campaign Advisor Jason Miller, White House Chief of Staff. Mark MeadowsMark Randall Meadows President Trump Melania Trump Tested Positive for COVID-19 COVID-19 Talks Reach Crucial Milestone Supreme Court Candidate Gives No Clue at GOP PLUS Meeting and former mayor of New York Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSacha Baron Cohen Trailer For ‘Borat 2’ Includes Joke About Pence Biden, Trump Faces Vicious And Ugly Debate Voters Divided Over Whether Trump and Biden Will Win First Debate. All tested negative on Friday or were awaiting results.
President of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDaniel The Hill Campaign Report: Trump Team On Defense Against President’s White Supremacy Comments Trump Voices Opposition To Debate On RNC Changes, Trump Campaign Pushes Back Rules Of Debate has also tested positive this week, although it was not made public until Friday.
Stepien’s diagnosis is a blow to a campaign that was already facing an uphill battle in the past 30 days until election day. Trump lags behind the Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenPresident Trump, Melania Trump tests positive for COVID-19 Poll: Biden takes 7 point lead over Trump in New Hampshire Jim Carrey to make SNL debut as Joe Biden this week MORE in national polls and in polls in major swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The race is extremely tight in places like Florida and North Carolina, which are critical to Trump’s chances of re-election.
The president, who was taken to Walter Reed Hospital earlier on Friday, will be sidelined from the election campaign as he recovers from the coronavirus, eliminating large gatherings that have traditionally been a boon to enthusiasm voters but who have come under close scrutiny amid the pandemic.
The Trump campaign announced on Friday that it would postpone all of the president’s planned trips or move them to virtual platforms. Previously scheduled events with Trump’s children, who are prominent campaign surrogates, have also been postponed.
Vice President Pence, who has tested negative for the coronavirus, will continue to campaign and other campaign events will be considered on a case-by-case basis.