(CNSNews.com) - "It's a very, very tough disease," President Donald Trump told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night, shortly before learning that he and his wife Melania have tested positive for coronavirus.
The news broke just before 1 a.m. Friday.
At 9:50 p.m., Trump told Hannity he was "a little surprised" to learn that his senior aide Hope Hicks had developed COVID symptoms on Wednesday and tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning.
(Trump attended a fundraiser in New Jersey later Thursday in Bedminster, N.J. He debated Joe Biden on Tuesday, held a rally in Duluth, Minnesota on Wednesday. So the contact tracing is expected to weave all over Washington and beyond, given Trump's busy travel schedule, and Hicks' attendance with him.)
Trump told Hannity that Hicks is a "very warm person" who can't tell soldiers and law enforcement officers to keep their distance when "they want to hug you and they want to kiss you, because we really have done a good job for them. And you get close, and things happen."
"She wears masks a lot," Trump told Hannity:
But she tested positive. And I just went out with the test -- I'll see, because you know, we spend a lot of time -- and the first lady just went out with a test also. So whether we quarantine or whether we have it, I don't know.
You know, it's very hard when you're with soldiers, when you are with airmen, when you're with the Marines, and I'm with the police officers, I'm with them so much. And when they come over to you, it's hard to say, stay back, stay back. You know, it's a tough kind of a situation, it's a terrible thing.
So I just went for a test, and we'll see what happens. I mean, who knows. But you know Hope very well, she's fantastic, and she's done a great job. But it's very, very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement, and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. And you get close, and things happen.
I was surprised to hear with Hope, but she's a very warm person with them. And she -- she knows there's a risk, but she's young. And I just went out for a test, they just did it. It will come back later, I guess. And the first lady also, because we spend a lot of time with Hope and others. So we'll see what happens.
You have to treat our people great, you can't just say, stay away, stay away. They come up to you -- there's such love with what we've done for them. And there's such love, and you have to treat our people great.
I think the vaccines are coming quickly. I do think it's somewhat political -- they'd like to do it -- even the drug companies, they, you know, they've dealt with these people a long time. I think they'd like to do it after the election, even if it's a couple of days. But the fact is, the vaccines are coming out, the therapeutics are coming out, and they're coming out really good. Regeneron and others -- other companies are great. Eli Lilly. So we'll have to see.
The survival rate is so much better now than it was. You've seen those numbers, 95 percent or something like that, better. So we'll have to see. I mean, I'll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning, but you know, I spend a lot of time with Hope and so does the first lady. And she's tremendous.
I was a little surprised. But she's a very warm person. She has a hard time when soldiers and law enforcement comes up to her, you know, she wants to treat them great, not say, I can't get near you. It's a very, very tough disease.