RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond’s top health leader warned families that President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis reveals the virus doesn’t discriminate.
Early Friday morning, Trump announced on Twitter that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Everybody is susceptible even at the highest-ranking position in our country. This disease is one that doesn’t discriminate and spread by contact,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond-Henrico Health District Director.
Despite reports from administration officials that he was only experiencing "mild" symptoms of COVID-19 and in good spirits, President Donald Trump did not appear on a 12:15 conference call which he was scheduled to host.
Trump's physician, Dr. Sean Conley, confirmed Friday afternoon that the president is being treated with a Regeneron antibody cocktail. Conley added that Trump is "fatigued."
As of 5:30 p.m., Trump was headed to Walter Reed Medical Center, according to a White House pool report.
“I don’t think it is a terrible surprise this has happened. Obviously, it is unfortunate. We hope he recovers. But I think given what’s happening in our country in terms of spread of the disease. It’s not surprising,” Avula stated.
Avula urged individuals to take the virus seriously, especially if you believe you may have come in contact with an infected person.
“If you get tested on day two or day three after your exposure you may end up having a negative test, but subsequently develop symptoms and test positive,” he explained.
Richmond Principal Greg Muzik know firsthand how devastating the virus can be. The Mary Munford Elementary leader and his wife both contracted COVID-19 in May.
“When both my wife and I had COVID, the person who was at risk for having a bad outcome was me because I’m older and heavier. My wife who is younger and healthier. Instead, I had almost no symptoms and she was very sick. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it,” Muzik said.
His wife spent two weeks recovering in the hospital.
“It’s almost like PTSD when you’re that sick,” Muzik said. “She was in the hospital for 14 days and that just never happens. You have to be really sick to spend that much time in the hospital.”
Muzik wished President Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery. He advised the couple to isolate themselves and monitor their symptoms.
It's unclear how Trump contracted the virus, but several White House officials and Republican lawmakers have all tested positive in recent days. Adviser Hope Hicks was first confirmed to have contracted the virus on Thursday evening.
His Democratic presidential challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, tested negative for the virus on Friday.