Barron Trump, the president’s 14-year-old son, tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after his parents both contracted the virus, first lady Melania Trump revealed Wednesday.
In a short essay titled “My personal experience with COVID-19,” Melania wrote that her son exhibited no symptoms. Both President Trump and his wife tested positive two weeks ago. While the first-lady remained at the White House throughout her diagnosis, the commander-in-chief was transported to Walter Reed Medical Center hours after revealing his diagnosis—where he remained for three days.
“To our great relief [Barron] tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think ‘what about tomorrow or the next day?’” the first lady wrote.
“My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive. Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms. In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.”
Her husband’s dramatic helicopter ride to hospital prompted Melania to “reflect” on her family and on the millions of Americans affected by the virus, she wrote.
“For me personally, the most impactful part of my recovery was the opportunity to reflect on many things—family, friendships, my work, and staying true to who you are,” she wrote.
“We are in unprecedented times—and with the election fast approaching, it has been easy to get caught up in so much negative energy.”
Trump shocked the world when he tweeted at 12:54 a.m. on Oct. 1 that he and Melania had both tested positive for virus, throwing his re-election campaign into chaos and presenting the most serious health threat to a sitting president in decades.
After Trump spent three nights in hospital, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley cleared the 74-year-old president to return to the campaign trail on Monday, saying that he had tested negative “on consecutive days.”
While Trump was treated with two experimental coronavirus drugs—including an antibody cocktail he has since touted as “cure”—Melania wrote that she “chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food.”
She said she suffered a “roller coaster of symptoms” but generally had a mild case of the virus that has killed at least 200,000 Americans and infected millions more.
“I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time,” she wrote.
Her husband, in contrast, downplayed his symptoms and has since posited himself as a “warrior” against the virus, claiming as he was released from the hospital on Oct. 5 that he felt “better than I did 20 years ago!”
While Melania appears to have remained at the White House during her illness, adhering to CDC guidelines on quarantining, Trump was back at the White House for a public event on Saturday before boarding Air Force One on Monday—without a mask—for a rally in Sanford, Florida.
Trump also didn’t seem to share Melania’s coronavirus-induced epiphany on negative energy. He has jumped back into suggesting his opponent Joe Biden is unwell or senile, and told his rally crowd: “I feel so powerful. I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women.”
“It does give you a good feeling when you can beat something and now they say you’re immune,” he said. (Experts haven’t determined conclusively if those who have had COVID-19 are immune to getting it again.)
His wife, however, focused on her gratitude that her family receive top-notch medical care, detailing how “unfamiliar” it felt to “be the patient instead of a person trying to encourage our nation to stay healthy and safe.”
Melania’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, last told reporters on Oct. 2 that Barron had tested negative. The White House has repeatedly refused to say when the president last tested negative before he revealed on Oct. 1 that he had tested positive.