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President Trump and wife Melania test positive for COVID-19

The news could affect the economy, health systems' financial well-being and throw upcoming presidential debates into question.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

President Trump tests positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)President Trump tests positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, throwing into question what comes next for healthcare, the economy and the presidential election 32 days from now.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have tested negative for the virus, his spokesman Devin O'Malley said by tweet Friday.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Friday he would get tested. Dr. Jill Biden was also tested. Both tests came back negative, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the couple's primary care physician said in a statement to Politico.

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Pence and Democratic vice presidential challenger Kamala Harris are scheduled to a debate Wednesday, October 7 in Utah. No announcement has yet been made regarding whether that will go forward.

Trump is in quarantine at the White House, less than two weeks before he and Biden are scheduled for their next debate on Thursday, October 15. Another is scheduled for Thursday, October 22.

Trump broke the news about testing positive by Tweet around 1 a.m. E.T. Friday.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

The president and first lady were tested after White House advisor Hope Hicks was confirmed to have the virus on Thursday. 

"The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence," the president's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a memo to Kayleigh McEnany, assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary, according to NBC News. "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."

Biden tweeted Friday morning: "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."

Trump, for now, remains off the campaign trail, where he has received criticism for not following social distancing or mask-wearing guidelines and for speaking before large crowds.

Contract tracing is being done, the White House has said. On Saturday, Trump met with Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and other officials at the White House Rose Garden. Neither Trump nor Barrett were wearing a mask.

Stock markets around the world fell following the announcement. The news sent U.S. stock futures lower, with investors already contemplating the impact of still-high levels of infections on the U.S. economy and the prospect of a contested election outcome, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 400 points lower this morning at the opening bell at 9:30 a.m., the WSJ reported.

Moody's has previously reported that the coronavirus poses a credit risk for hospitals through 2021.

-- This story will be updated.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com