WASHINGTON — Messages for a quick recovery began flooding in Friday from lawmakers reacting to the news that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19.
They were bipartisan — Democrats and Republicans offered prayers and wishes of “get well soon” to the president and his wife, with some Democrats wondering whether contracting the coronavirus would change Trump’s outlook on the pandemic.
“This is tragic, it’s very sad, but it also is something that, again, going into crowds unmasked and all the rest is sort of a brazen invitation for something like this to happen,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on MSNBC’s “Live with Stephanie Ruhle. “It’s sad that it did, but nonetheless hopeful that it will be a transition to a saner approach to what this virus is all about.”
Pelosi said she was tested Friday morning for Covid-19 because of her in-person meetings with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, although his spokesman said that he has tested negative. The speaker said she is awaiting her results.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said he hopes Trump now realizes the seriousness of the disease, especially after he previously suggested that people inject themselves with disinfectant to combat the virus.
“Mr. President — if these reports are confirmed, I wish you and the first lady well,” Castro said. “I hope this is a wake-up call that this virus is not a hoax or something cured by injecting bleach. We need a plan, not the same divisive, dangerous rhetoric.”
Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., tweeted, “Unfortunately, POTUS’ experience with COVID may determine if he changes his tune and attitude or not. If he quickly recovers & is symptom free, will he continue to mock those who wear a mask? Will he still say (re: deaths) ‘it is what it is’? Or continue to downplay its danger?”
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One Democrat, Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, retweeted a video clip from Tuesday’s presidential debate in which Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask. Pascrell said, “Please wear a mask. It protects you and it protects others around you.”
“Now, President Trump must quarantine completely and strictly follow CDC guidance before he puts anyone else at risk. And the super-spreading rallies must stop. This virus is not a hoax,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., tweeted.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said on Twitter that he sends his best wishes to the president and the first lady “and to the more than 46,000 Americans — and 450 Virginians” diagnosed with the disease on Thursday. The governor and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement Friday, “This virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, a Republican or a Democrat, young or old. No one is immune. Not even the president.”
Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., said she hopes Trump, the first lady and their staff recover quickly, and added, “This is a serious disease. Everyone please continue to remain vigilant — wear your masks, maintain social distance, and wash your hands often.”
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., said on Twitter that he hopes the president and the first lady have a “speedy recovery” and said, “Far too many families have had to suffer because of this virus.”
“I hope he recovers fully. He needs to face justice,” tweeted Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., who had “please wear a mask” in his twitter username.
“I assume Judge Coney Barrett will be responsibly quarantining for the next two weeks,” Huffman added, noting that Barrett had met with Trump in the last week and with senators at the Capitol this week as they consider her Supreme Court nomination.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., tweeted that everyone is at risk, “Say a prayer for our president and our country. We’re all at risk and our nation is in great peril. We must pull through by pulling together. We can be strong, victorious and good.”
“COVID didn’t sneak up on the President,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., tweeted. “Since the spring, the White House has had multiple positive cases, including several people who have direct contact with Trump. And yet he didn’t wear a mask at public events or private meetings at the White House.”
Trump revealed in a tweet Friday just before 1 a.m. ET that he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 and would begin isolating. This came after news that one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for the disease.
Joe Biden tweeted Friday, “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Friday that he spoke to Trump in the morning about his diagnosis and signaled that there would be no delay in the Senate confirmation process for Barrett.
“He’s in good spirits and we talked business — especially how impressed Senators are with the qualifications of Judge Barrett. Full steam ahead with the fair, thorough, timely process that the nominee, the Court, & the country deserve,” McConnell tweeted.
Earlier on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, McConnell said that Trump’s positive test, “certainly underscores that the coronavirus is not concerned about the American election…and that it’s not going away until we get a vaccine.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted, “President Trump is a fighter — through and through. Please join me in praying for a complete and speedy recovery for him and our First Lady!”
At the Capitol, asked by a reporter if Trump has been reckless in his approach to the coronavirus, McCarthy said, “No.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who became the first senator to contract Covid-19, tweeted, “Get well soon and stay strong!” and said he and his wife are keeping the Trump family in their thoughts.
“Praying for a quick and full recovery for the both of you,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., tweeted.
Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., tweeted, “Our President’s top duty is as Commander in Chief, particularly of our nuclear forces. Looking forward to hearing him reassure the country and our allies, while putting our adversaries on notice that this is NOT the time to mess with the US. Get better soon, Mr. President!”