Former President Barack Obama broke his silence late Friday after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump contracted the coronavirus.
“Michelle and I want to make sure we acknowledged the president and the first lady at this difficult time,” he said at a fundraiser on Friday.
The president offered his “best wishes” to the Trumps, acknowledging that the news broke in the middle of an election. Obama said:
Although we’re in the midst of a big political fight, and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the President of the United States, the First Lady. Michelle and I are hopeful that they and others that have been affected by COVID-19 around the country are getting that care that they need, that they are going to be on the path to a speedy recovery.
The former president commented about the Trumps during a virtual fundraiser with Sen. Kamala Harris, former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s important I think for all of us to remember that even when we’re in the midst of big political battles, with issues that have a lot at stake, that we’re all Americans and we’re all human beings and we want to make sure that everybody is healthy,” Obama said.
Obama is the first former president to publicly acknowledge the Trumps contracting the virus and to wish them well. Former President Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush have not publicly responded to the news.
Obama later released a second statement publicly on Twitter that was slightly different:
Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery. Obviously, we’re in the midst of a big political battle right now, and while there’s a lot at stake, let’s remember that we’re all Americans. We’re all human beings. And we want everyone to be healthy, no matter our party.
Michelle and I hope that the President, First Lady, and all those affected by the coronavirus around the country are getting the care they need and are on the path to a speedy recovery.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 2, 2020