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Trump has mild Covid-19 symptoms, questions spark over November 3 election, fall in global stocks

The White House says the President can continue to perform his duties but there are questions over which other officials have the coronavirus disease.  Trump is said to have “mild cold like symptoms” of the virus as of this morning. 

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife second lady Karen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, White House adviser Jared Kushner and the president’s youngest son, Barron Trump all tested negative with more results to be revealed as the story develops. 

Trump and the first lady announced overnight that they both tested positive.

In a tweet last night, the president said that, “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” 

In a memo released Friday morning, Trump’s doctor said the president and first lady plan to remain at the White House “during their convalescence” and that the medical unit would “maintain a vigilant watch”. 

“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” White House doctor Sean Conley said. 

Financial markets fell on the news of the Trumps’ positive COVID-19 test results and with the uncertainty over the presidential election with Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden which is slated for November 3rd. 

US and European equity futures fell while Asian stocks and the dollar climbed after Trump’s announcement.  Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 declined 1.5 percent at the open, as more than 90 per cent of the companies within the index fell, including large technology businesses like Apple and Microsoft reported the Financial Times. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.8 per cent.  

The slide followed a fall in European stocks earlier in the day and in Asia before in response to the news. The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 had lost 0.8 percent of its value by lunchtime on the continent, while London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.9 per cent and Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax dropped 1.4 per cent.  

The Japanese Yen, often seen as havens in times of market stress, rose.  The Yen strengthened 0.2 percent against the dollar to ¥105.01.  US Treasuries, considered to be a haven asset, rose modestly in price, pushing yields slightly lower.  Investors were already bracing themselves for market impact from the November 3 general election.  

The Trump news also adds concerns over demands with oil.  Oil prices, which have been falling fell further on Friday, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, down about 4.3 percent to $39.17 a barrel reported the FT. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere said contact tracing for Trump and Melania Trump was being carried out and “the appropriate notifications and recommendations will be made”. Contact tracing for top aide Hope Hicks who tested positive for the virus, he added, was already complete.

The White House issued a new schedule for Trump’s activities on Friday that does not include his Florida trip which was previously planned.

It is not immediately clear how the Trumps contracted the virus which has infected more than 7 million people nationwide and killed more than 200,000 Americans. 

“Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump. We join millions across America praying for their full and swift recovery. God bless you President Trump & our wonderful First Lady Melania,” Vice-President Mike Pence tweeted this morning. 

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