President Donald Trump said over Twitter early Friday that he tested positive for Covid-19.
Stock futures in the U.S. declined sharply. Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 424 points, S&P 500 futures tumbled 54 points and Nasdaq futures were sliding 268 points.
Just before 1 a.m. ET, the president posted over Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding that the two "will get through this together."
Hours earlier, he had revealed that Hope Hicks, his adviser, had also tested positive for Covid 19.
"Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!" he had said late Thursday night.
White House physician Scott Conley said the president and first lady will remain at the White House “during their convalescence.”
“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,” Conley said in a memo released Friday.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative for Covid-19, a spokesman told CNBC Friday.
Trump's handling of the pandemic - and at times dismissing it - has been source of criticism for his administration.
Early on in the outbreak, he compared the virus to a common cold - "the sniffles" - and claimed it would disappear by April, as his administration gave Americans repeated assurances that they face minimal risk of infection.
The virus, however, has hit the U.S. particularly hard, killing more than 205,000 Americans. Well more than 7 million Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Trump, at age 74, is now one of several high-profile politicians to contract the virus.
In April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also was infected and spent time in intensive care in the hospital, but ultimately recovered. The month prior, U.S. Senator Rand Paul had also tested positive for Covid-19, but never developed any significant symptoms.
The news of President Trump's diagnosis comes just as the U.S. presidential debates had begun and just about a month before the 2020 election. It's unclear how the diagnosis will affect campaigning.