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Donald Trump Jr. Tests Positive For The Coronavirus

Donald Trump Jr. has become the latest member of the president's orbit to test positive for the coronavirus.

"Apparently I got the 'rona," the president's son told his Instagram followers late Friday.

"You wouldn't know it based on anything that I felt or have seen," he said. "I've been totally asymptomatic."

Trump Jr. suggested that because of his lack of symptoms, his test result might have been a false-positive. "But out of an abundance of precaution, I'll quarantine, I'll follow the regular protocols," the 42-year-old said. "You know, take it seriously. No reason to do anything otherwise."

The president commented on the diagnosis Saturday. "My son Donald is doing very well," Trump tweeted.

The emerging research around the coronavirus suggests that about 1 in 5 people infected with COVID-19 won't develop symptoms — a change in scientists' understanding of the virus and its toll. Early in the pandemic, some researchers thought that as many as four out of five people were asymptomatic. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for symptoms to develop.

Trump Jr. said he got tested because he was supposed to go on a father-son trip with his son. "Gotta cancel that trip," he said, adding that he hopes to test negative a couple of times in a row before resuming holiday activities. "Hopefully I can make it up with him a little bit later."

It's unclear how Trump Jr. contracted the virus, but he is just one of many members of the president's circle to have come down with COVID-19 in recent weeks. Trump himself was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October. First lady Melania Trump and the president's youngest son, Barron, also had the virus. Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, contracted the virus this summer.

Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive earlier this month, as did several others who attended an election night party held inside the White House. Trump and his supporters have been resistant to social distancing or wearing masks at public events.

A September gathering at the White House to celebrate the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is thought to have led to several cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called that gathering a "superspreader event."

Trump Jr. was in good spirits Friday. He asked his Instagram followers for "any good Netflix recommendations" because "I may have a couple days of solo time and there's only so many guns I can clean."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").