On October 2, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The 45th president and first lady Melania Trump became exposed to the virus after traveling to the first presidential debate against Democrat nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland. According to ABC News, the president and first lady traveled in close quarters aboard Air Force One and Marine One with Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest advisors. Hicks began showing symptoms the day after the debate and “was also on the plane traveling to Trump’s rally in Minnesota on Wednesday night, along with the president’s son-in-law and top aide, Jared Kushner, and Dan Scavino, another top White House adviser,” reports ABC News. To top it off, Hicks was also photographed not wearing a mask.
Hicks is one of the highest-profile members of Trump’s administration to contract the virus. When news confirmed that she’d tested positive, it was only a matter of time that Trump, too, would test positive for coronavirus. So, why is the president frequently in such close contact with Hicks? Here’s everything there is to know about their relationship and why Trump was bound to get COVID-19 if she were to test positive.
They have had a long political relationship
President Donald Trump and Hope Hicks have had an interesting political relationship. BBC states that before Hicks joined Trump’s first campaign in 2016, she had zero background in politics. She instead was working in public relations and actually met Trump through his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump (Ivanka’s fashion company was one of Hicks’ PR clients at the time). It was while she was working for Ivanka that Trump decided to bring Hicks onto his political team, and she went from helping draft tweets to working as a full-time political press secretary.
Hicks’ relationship with Trump would then take a turn when she became the White House communications director after replacing Anthony Scaramucci in August 2017, per BBC. She stepped down from the role in February 2018, after scrutiny arose when she said she told “white lies” for the president during the Russian interference investigation.
However, Hicks didn’t stay out of Trump’s political life for long. In February 2020, she returned to the White House to work with Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor. The New York Times reports that her new role is “counselor to the president” and she’s involved with Trump’s communication strategy and reelection campaign.
With Hicks working closely with Trump again in the middle of prime election season, it’s not surprising that if one of them were to get COVID-19, all of them would also catch it in the process.
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