US President Donald Trump’s close family, several key government officials and politicians have tested negative for COVID-19 after the American leader and First Lady Melania Trump announced on October 2 that had been infected by the novel coronavirus.
A slew of negative test results was announced subsequently by prominent American political figures, according to reports. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill said they tested negative and his running mate, vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff followed suit.
Further negative results came in for US Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump’s son Barron, daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Other Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and key economic adviser Larry Kudlow also tested negative. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated to the US Supreme Court by Trump, also returned a negative test.
However, several close aides of Trump have tested positive. Adding to that list were Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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