US election 2020: Melania Trump cancels campaign trip with husband over lingering COVID cough

·2-min read

Melania Trump has pulled out of a campaign trip with her husband due to a lingering cough after her COVID-19 diagnosis, her chief of staff has said.

Stephanie Grisham said that the first lady continues to feel better every day after having coronavirus, "but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be travelling today".

Mrs Trump was due to accompany the US president to a rally in the town of Erie in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, in what would have been her first public campaign appearance in more than a year.

Instead, Mr Trump will now travel without his wife by his side, as he continues to court his fervent base of supporters ahead of next month's election.

She was last seen in public two days before she tested positive for COVID-19, at the first presidential debate between her husband and Democrat Joe Biden on 29 September, while her last campaign appearance was in June 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Mrs Trump is expected to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday for the final presidential debate before the election on 3 November.

The announcement that the first lady will no longer be travelling is another reminder to the president that the virus is still present in everyday life, despite him appearing keen to believe otherwise.

On Monday, Mr Trump said that the American public were tired of hearing about COVID-19, and railed against his own infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, calling him a "disaster".

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Around 58,000 people in the US are testing positive for the virus daily, with the country reporting more than 700 coronavirus-related deaths each day.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the US is nearing 8.3 million, while deaths approach 221,000, according to figures being tracked by Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, Mrs Trump wrote in a blog that she had overcome coronavirus and had recently tested negative, adding that she suffered from aches and fatigue while ill.