US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania have tested positive for coronavirus,raising questions about who else in his circle could be infected.
Mr Trump's announcement, which could be destabilising in an already fraught political climate, comes just over a month before the presidential elections on 3 November, where he faces Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
Trump tweeted: "Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"
Later, the first lady wrote on Twitter that she and her husband were "feeling good."
Mr Trump’s diagnosis represents a critical moment in his presidency. At 74, he falls into the highest risk category for serious complications from the disease, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and more than 1 million people worldwide.
"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 Trump tweeted shortly after 1 am on Friday
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, said that Mr Trump was exhibiting “mild symptoms” of coronavirus and that a doctor was attending to him.
The White House physician, who said he expected Mr Trump “to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering”, issued a memorandum on Friday afternoon saying the president had been treated with an “antibody cocktail” as a “precautionary measure”.
The development comes after a number of debate attendees had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Cleveland city officials announced earlier today that they had confirmed at least 11 cases of coronavirus connected with the presidential debate held there on Tuesday.
In a press statement the city said: “In total, at this time, we are aware of 11 cases stemming from pre-debate planning and setup, with the majority of cases occurring among out of state residents.
“At this time, though that could change, no city residents appear to have contracted the virus as a result of this event.”
Within 24 hours, Trump announced he had tested positive for coronavirus, and shortly after that that he was going to be hospitalised for several days.
Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey. He did not appear ill, though he did not speak to reporters as he walked into his residence.Key players in the government received no warning about the president’s condition.
The president had said late Thursday night that he planned to quarantine after one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for the infection.Earlier that night, he had downplayed the virus' continued spread.
Meanwhile, vice-president Mike Pence and his wife were tested on Friday morning, and the results were negative.
Later on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would take charge of government in the event that both the president and vice-president were incapacitated, said she had been tested on Friday morning and had not yet received the results.
Leaders from around the world, including Boris Johnson, sent their best wishes.
The UK prime minister tweeted: "My best wishes to President Trump and the First Lady. Hope they both have a speedy recovery from coronavirus."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, also sent messages of support to the couple.
Elsewhere, the US stocks fell on the announcement of the diagnosis, with Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closing down nearly 1 per cent.
Wall Street’s Vix volatility index rose to 27.5, above its long-term average of about 20. Futures contracts also pointed to heightened expectations of turbulence in November and December.