President Trump confirmed on Thursday that he and First Lady Melania Trump were infected with the novel coronavirus.
The White House physician issued a letter to confirm the COVID-19 diagnosis, and to say the president and his wife are “both well” and plan to remain at home within the White House during the convalescence.
Experts say that the president’s age and weight are risk factors for COVID-19 complications, even though Trump might not be experiencing any symptoms at the onset of the illness.
In an unexpected turn of events, President Trump late Thursday night confirmed that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. The news followed a previous update that said one of Trump’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive for coronavirus. The president issued an initial statement after Trump confirmed the positive diagnosis, without disclosing whether the president or his wife were displaying symptoms. “The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence. Rest assured, I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” the statement read. Since then, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley released a full letter about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, which you can read below.
The letter maintains the same tone, saying that the president and first lady are both well and will stay in quarantine during their recovery:
MEMORANDUM FOR: KAYLEIGH MCENANY, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
FROM: SEAN P. CONLEY, DO, FACEP, PHYSICIAN TO THE PRESIDENT, COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY
SUBJECT: President Donald J. Trump & First Lady Melania Trump’s COVID-19 Tests
I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.
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 future developments.
Trump is the latest prominent political figure to have contracted the illness. UK prime minister Boris Johnson survived COVID, as did Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
Trump’s stance on COVID-19 will probably turn his coronavirus case into one of the most followed stories in the world. Trump has downplayed the virus for months, with Bob Woodward’s recent revelations showing that Trump knew well the risks of COVID-19, despite what he told the public. Trump maintained the virus will disappear suddenly in the early months of the pandemic. He advocated for
Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, said in a letter that he would keep a “vigilant watch” over President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump after they tested positive for the coronavirus.
A Canadian woman has been charged with threatening President Donald Trump by mailing a letter laced with the deadly poison ricin to the White House, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.
The woman, Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 53, who lives in Quebec, was carrying a knife and a loaded gun tucked into her waistband when she was taken into custody along the U.S.–Canada border Sunday, prosecutors said.
“I found a new name for you: ‘The Ugly Tyrant Clown,'” read a rambling note found inside the letter that arrived at the White House’s mail sorting center Friday, according to court documents.
“You ruin USA and lead them to disaster. I don’t want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election. So I made a ‘Special Gift’ for you to make a decision. This gift is in this letter. If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come.”
Ferrier is also alleged to have sent letters containing a powdery substance to people at jails and detention centers in Texas, where she had recently been arrested on weapons charges. Those letters, like the letter addressed to Trump, also used the phrase “if it doesn’t work I will find a better recipe,” the complaint said.
Ferrier was taken into custody after investigators matched her fingerprints on the letters recovered in Texas with fingerprints of Ferrier in FBI databases.
The FBI said that on Sept. 9, she made postings on Twitter and Facebook saying “#killTrump” and used the same phrase found in the letter to the president: “Ugly Clown Tyrant.”
According to the complaint, she told Customs and Border Protection officers at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing in Buffalo, New York, that she was wanted by the FBI for the ricin letters.
Ferrier was ordered held without bail at her initial court appearance in Buffalo. Her lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.
A letter sent to the White House containing the toxic powder ricin has been traced back to Pascale Ferrier, a woman who was arrested on Sunday while trying to cross the U.S. border from Canada, authorities said Tuesday. Ferrier has been charged with making threats against the president of the United States.
At her initial court appearance in Buffalo on Tuesday, Ferrier asked the court to appoint a federal defender, which will be paid for by American taxpayers. That defender requested an identity hearing, in which the court would determine that she is in fact the person named in the criminal complaint and the arrest warrant, as well as a probable cause hearing.
Ferrier’s next hearings, which will include the identity and probable cause hearing, were scheduled for September 28. She was returned to the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Court documents released Tuesday detail how on Friday, the U.S. Secret Service flagged the letter postmarked from Canada to the FBI. The FBI found that it “contained a white, powdery material,” which was later confirmed to be ricin.
The letter also contained a note Ferrier allegedly wrote to the president, calling him “The Ugly Tyrant Clown” and claiming he, “…ruin[ed] USA and lead them to disaster,” according to the documents.
“I have US cousins, then I don’t want the next 4 years with you as president. Give up and remove your application for this election,” Ferrier allegedly wrote to Mr. Trump. “So I made a “Special Gift” for you to make a decision. This gift is in this letter. If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. Enjoy! FREE REBEL SPIRIT!”
The affidavit claims that Ferrier made similar negative comments about the President on her social media accounts.
Law enforcement officials said they learned during the toxin screening that six additional letters sent from Canada had been turned over to FBI field offices in Texas earlier in the week. Those letters were allegedly addressed to individuals employed at penitentiaries and detention centers in the state. The letters also allegedly contained a powdery substance, had matching language, and were similarly signed “FREE REBEL SPIRIT.” Law enforcement officials said they were also able to identify her fingerprints on four of the letters in San Antonio.
Ferrier was previously arrested in March 2019 by the Mission Police in Texas for weapons possession and was transferred into ICE custody. According to court documents, the letters sent to Texas were addressed to individuals that worked at facilities at which she was held during her detention in 2019.
When Ferrier was arrested Sunday while trying to enter the U.S. from the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, she allegedly told CBP officers she was “…wanted by the FBI for the ricin letters” and had a gun and a knife in her possession.
WASHINGTON — A woman suspected of sending a letter containing the deadly poison ricin to the White House was arrested trying to enter the United States from Canada, two federal law enforcement officials said Sunday.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed the arrest and said the agency is continuing to investigate the suspicious letter.
A federal law enforcement official said the woman was taken into custody while traveling across Peace Bridge, which connects Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.
Another federal law enforcement official said the suspect was detained by Customs and Border Protection agents. Additional information about the arrest and the suspect was not immediately available.
The FBI said Saturday that it was investigating a suspicious letter addressed to President Donald Trump that had been intercepted.
It wasn’t clear when the letter was sent or where it was intercepted. Law enforcement officials said Saturday that the poison, which is highly toxic and can cause organ failure and death, was detected at an off-site facility that screens mail addressed to the White House.
The ricin was confirmed in field and laboratory tests.
The suspect allegedly sent other letters to federal prisons that were discovered in different facilities, an official told NBC News Saturday. It wasn’t immediately clear which prisons the letters were sent to or who the recipients were.
The official said only one letter appeared to be addressed to a political figure.
Pete Williams and Michael Kosnar reported from Washington and Tim Stelloh from California.
A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House, has been arrested at New York-Canada border, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The letter had been intercepted before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, the officials said. Her name was not immediately released.
The letter addressed to the White House appeared to have originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Trump, and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
There have been several prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin sent through the mail.
A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.
In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Obama and other officials.
The FBI is leading an investigation into a letter sent to the White House that was believed to contain the poison ricin. Initial information indicated the letter originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
“The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility,” the FBI said in a statement. “At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.”
The RCMP, which is working with the FBI on the investigation, said the FBI conducted an analysis on the substance found in the envelope. This report indicated the presence of ricin.
Ricin is naturally found in castor beans, but it can be made into a poison from the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made. It takes a deliberate act to make it into a poison, and no known antidote exists. Death from ricin poisoning can occur within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received. If death has not occurred in 3 to 5 days, the victim usually recovers.
There have been several incidents in recent years involving ricin being sent through the mail. In 2018, Navy veteran William Clyde Allen III was arrested for mailing letters containing castor seeds to the White House and the Pentagon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if castor seeds are swallowed, ricin can be released and cause injury.
A package containing ricin poison that was addressed to US President Donald Trump has been intercepted before it reached the White House, officials told US media.
The letter was discovered at a screening facility for White House mail earlier this week, the officials said.
They said a substance found inside the envelope was identified as ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans.
The Trump administration is yet to comment on the reports.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service are investigating where the package came from and whether others have been sent through the US postal system.
“At this time, there is no known threat to public safety,” the FBI told CNN in a statement on Saturday.
One official told the New York Times that investigators believe the package was sent from Canada. Reports say the presence of ricin was identified after two tests.
Ricin is produced by processing castor beans. It is a lethal substance that, if swallowed, inhaled or injected, can cause nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding and ultimately organ failure.
No known antidote exists for ricin. If a person is exposed to ricin, death can take place within 36 to 72 hours, depending on the dose received, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC said the poison – which has been used in terror plots – can be manufactured into a weapon in the form of a powder, mist or pellet.
The White House and other federal buildings have been the target of ricin packages in the past.
In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sending letters dusted with ricin to former President Barack Obama and other officials.
Four years later, in 2018, a former Navy veteran was charged with sending toxic letters to the Pentagon and White House.
One official said the letter tested positive to ricin in both a field test and a subsequent laboratory test.
A second official said the FBI, Secret Service and the Postal Inspection Service are trying to determine where the letter came from. It’s unclear when the letter was intercepted.
Other letters that have also tested positive for ricin were discovered in different facilities, an official said. While it is unclear how many additional poisoned letters were found, most of them seem to be addressed to prisons. Only one was apparently addressed to a political figure, the official said.
The White House and Secret Service did not immediately return a request for comment.
Ricin is highly toxic that could cause nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of the exposure, it can also cause failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by the collapse of the circulatory system.
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.
Nicole Acevedo is a reporter for NBC News Digital. She reports, writes and produces stories for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com.