It’s the most shocking October surprise in recent political history: President Donald Trump has announced he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
What this means for the election, the markets, and Trump himself remains to be seen, but the immediate reactions have been swift. As is to be expected, social media is in a tizzy with everything from well-wishes to conspiracy theories to bouts of glee.
But what’s a bit more surprising is the lack of comments from U.S. politicians. While some politicians on both sides of the aisle have come out to wish the Trump and the First Lady well, many have held back making any statements so far—at least on Twitter.
That suggests that Trump’s opponents, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic heavyweights are still deciding how to craft their replies. But it’s not just those on the left who have been hesitant to make public statements. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump’s children, and most members of Trump’s inner circle have yet to publicly respond.
In other words, Trump’s opponents appear to be weighing how to respond without sounding like they are saying “I told you so,” and Trump’s supporters appear to be weighing how to respond after the president spent the entire year downplaying the pandemic and, except in a rare few instances, refusing to take reasonable precautions, such as wearing a mask.
That means that, as of the time of this writing, the majority of the leaders and politicians who have responded so far are international. Here’s a roundup of what we’ve spotted so far:
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.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) October 2, 2020
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 2, 2020
My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 2, 2020
Wishing President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump speedy recovery from COVID-19.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 2, 2020
Like millions of Israelis, Sara and I are thinking of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and wish our friends a full and speedy recovery. https://t.co/UcxQpsxBLE
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 2, 2020
No matter where we live. https://t.co/w5WH1pgvpB
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) October 2, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with U.S. President @realDonaldTrump and First Lady Melania Trump. I wish them and all infected with coronavirus a quick and full recovery.
— Nechirvan Barzani (@IKRPresident) October 2, 2020
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) October 2, 2020
I sincerely hope that they will overcome the quarantine period without problems and regain their health as soon as possible.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 2, 2020