“It was two weeks ago when I received the diagnosis that so many Americans across our country and the world had already received—I tested positive for COVID-19,” the first lady said in a statement. “To make matters worse, my husband, and our nation’s Commander-in-Chief, received the same news.”
She continued: “Naturally my mind went immediately to our son. To our great relief he 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?”
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.”
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff and spokeswoman, told USA TODAY on Oct. 2 that Barron “has tested negative, and all precautions are being taken to ensure he’s kept safe and healthy.”
Before departing for a campaign rally in Des Moines Wednesday, President Donald Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn that Barron is doing “fine.”
The president was discharged from Walter Reed National Medical Center Monday, four days after he and Melania tested positive for COVID-19. Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 on “consecutive days,” White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo released Monday. The first lady said Wednesday she, too, has since tested negative.
At least 20 people, including top administration officials, have tested positive since Trump announced his positive results Oct. 2. Many attended Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination ceremony Sept. 26 at the White House Rose Garden, where few people wore masks.
Barron’s private school, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, was set to begin “a phased transition to hybrid learning” this week.
Asked back in July about sending his son and grandchildren back to school, Trump said he would be “comfortable” with it. At the time, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said that it would be a “personal decision” by the president and first lady.
The first lady also detailed her experience with the virus Wednesday, saying though she experienced “minimal” symptoms, “a roller coaster of symptoms” hit her “all at once” in the days after her diagnosis.
“I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food,” she said.
The first lady said her convalescence gave her time to “reflect.”
“When my husband was taken to Walter Reed as a precaution, I spent much of my time reflecting on my family. I also thought about the hundreds of thousands of people across our country who have been impacted by this illness that infects people with no discrimination,” she said.
Melania also thanked the staff that nursed her back to health. “It was an unfamiliar feeling for me to be the patient instead of a person trying to encourage our nation to stay healthy and safe. It was me being taken care of now, and getting first-hand experience with all that COVID-19 can do,” she said.
“To the medical staff and the residence staff who have been taking care of our family—thank you doesn’t say enough,” she added.