President Trump learned on Thursday morning that his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus — just as his plane took off for a scheduled fundraiser in New Jersey, his chief of staff said Friday.
The president departed the White House in Marine One to Joint Base Andrews at 12:45 p.m., according to his official schedule. He did not speak to reporters on the South Lawn.
It was at takeoff that Hicks’ COVID-19 diagnosis came to light.
“I can tell you in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday morning. “We actually pulled some of the people that had been traveling and (were) in close contact.”
Meadows did not specify who was held back.
Trump arrived at Joint Base Andrews 10 minutes later and flew from DC to Morristown at 1:05 p.m. with White House spokesman Judd Deere and aide John McEntee in tow, according to pool reports.
Air Force One arrived at Morristown Municipal Airport at 1:55 p.m.
Ten minutes later, he flew to his golf resort in Bedminster for the fundraiser — with Meadows saying contact tracing efforts began just before the roundtable event with supporters at 3 p.m.
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