News & Politics

Florida Man Has Coronavirus, DC Government Says

Trump may sleep, breathe, and work on Pennsylvania Avenue, but that's not enough to make his illness local

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

Donald and Melania Trump, a socially prominent couple who regularly entertain large crowds of people at their residence in the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, confirmed this week that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

From an epidemiological point of view, this would appear to be bad news for the District of Columbia. Hundreds of people have gone in and out of the stricken couple’s home and workplace. Upon leaving, they have presumably moved about the city, visiting friends, shopping in stores, encountering neighbors, and sharing quarters with spouses and children who do the same.

One thing that the case of the Trumps won’t do, though, is impact DC’s covid statistics. The couple may live and work and possibly infect people here in the District, but at election time, they cast their votes in Florida—a legal status that may or may not matter to the virus, but appears to be relevant to the authorities in the Wilson Building.

“The White House physician will do their own contact tracing and provide guidance to impacted individuals,” said Latoya Foster, spokeswoman for DC mayor Muriel Bowser, in a statement. “As has been the practice throughout the pandemic, state health agencies only include its own residents within its case total.”


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Michael Schaffer has been editor of Washingtonian since 2014. A former editor of Washington City Paper and editorial director of The New Republic, Michael is also the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about America’s obsession with pets. A DC native, he currently lives in Chevy Chase DC with his wife and their two daughters.