Oil prices slumped by about three per cent yesterday, hours after the President of the United States, Donald Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump tweeted news of his positive result, just hours after the White House announced that Hope Hicks, one of his aides, had come down with the virus after travelling with the president several times this week.
Brent crude slipped on the Trump news and was down $1.12, or 2.7 per cent, at $39.81 a barrel by 0710 GMT.
The US shale oil was also down $1.12, or 2.9 per cent at $37.60. Brent and US crude are heading for drops of around five per cent and six per cent, respectively, this week for a second consecutive week of declines.
Also, US stock futures and Asian shares fell yesterday. The future contracts for both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials dropped nearly two per cent but were trading 1.2 per cent lower several hours later.
Trump tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, just roughly 31 days to the 2020 presidential election.
The US president confirmed this on Twitter after one of his aides Hope Hicks initially tested positive for the virus.
He twitted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this together!”
“If Trump were stricken suddenly or had to be sedated for incubation, the 25th Amendment also allows the vice president and cabinet to execute the transfer of presidential power,” Bloomberg wrote, months before the president tested positive.
Trump had repeatedly ignored experts’ advice on wearing masks for months.
Sean Conley, Trump’s doctor, said the president would quarantine from the White House, where he would continue to work.
Conley wrote: “The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions.
“Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any further developments.”
Trump was taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center yesterday.
The White House has said Trump’s symptoms were mild and that he is in good spirits, but he has not been seen in public since the news of the positive COVID-19 test.
Conley said Trump “remains fatigued but in good spirits” and received a cocktail of polyclonal antibodies as a precautionary measure after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
“As a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail. He completed the infusion without incident,” Conley said in a memorandum issued Friday afternoon.
“In addition to the polyclonal antibodies, the President has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin,” he added.
First lady Melania Trump, who along with the president tested positive in the early hours of Friday morning, “remains well with only a mild cough and headache,” the White House physician said. He also said that the “remainder of the First Family” tested negative for the virus.
Trump has remained quiet throughout the day on Friday after testing positive for COVID-19 — a development that rattled the White House and roiled an already volatile reelection campaign.
Trump, who is 74 and overweight, falls into a high-risk category for the coronavirus, which has been found to be particularly deadly among senior populations.
Trump joins a list of heads of governments who have tested positive for COVID-19
Late March, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be admitted early April, where he was in the intensive care unit. He survived.
Brazil’s president tested positive for COVID-19 twice but recovered from the disease on both occasions.
Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi is reported to be the first head of state killed by COVID-19.