By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) – US Department of Defense (DoD) on Friday wished President Donald Trump and first lady Melania a quick recovery from the coronavirus.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and his wife Leah, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and his wife Hollyanne "send their thoughts and prayers to the President and First Lady for a swift recovery," spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
Noting that Esper and Milley last met with Trump at a Gold Star families event in the White House on Sunday, Hoffman said: "In preparation for and as part of his international travel, Secretary Esper tested negative for COVID on Monday and Wednesday of this week. Today he will be tested again as planned for continuation of his travel."
He added that Esper, who is currently on an official visit to Morrocco, "will not be returning to the US early."
For Milley, Hoffman said the chairman tested Friday morning and the result was negative.
"There's been no change to DoD alert levels … Our national command and control structure is in no way affected by this announcement," he said, regarding the reports about E-68 aircraft on alert status.
The spokesman added these aircraft were part of "pre-planned missions" and the timing of Trump's positive diagnosis was "purely coincidental."
Trump said early Friday that he and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19 by tweeting: "Tonight, @FLOTUS [US first lady] and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"
Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said in a statement that the Trumps are "both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."