Three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, Melania Trump has reemerged in public. The First Lady of the United States was photographed smiling and holding hands with her husband, Donald Trump — both mask-less — as they strode across the South Lawn of The White House to hop on-board Marine One. The flight kick-started their journey to the final presidential debate that’s happening in Nashville, Tennessee on Oct. 22.
Melania and Donald continued to hold hands after disembarking Marine One to transfer to Air Force One at the tarmac on Joint Base Andrew in Maryland. It was a rare sight to see Melania, who was wearing a black Christian Dior dress, happily engage in such an open PDA act with the POTUS (she usually makes headlines for dodging his PDA advances).
Melania has been notably MIA from her husband’s campaign trail, which is uncharacteristic for a First Lady. The U.S. presidential election is now just two weeks away (Nov. 3), and it has been over a year since Melania has attended one of Donald’s rallies. She was originally scheduled to show face at his rally in Erie, Pennsylvania on Oct. 20, but took a last minute rain check due to a “lingering cough” that had remained after her battle with the coronavirus, which her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told NBC News.
Melania and Donald revealed their positive COVID-19 tests in separate Twitter statements on Oct. 1. “As too many Americans have done this year, @potus & I are quarantining at home after testing positive for COVID-19. We are feeling good & I have postponed all upcoming engagements. Please be sure you are staying safe & we will all get through this together,” Melania wrote at the time. Just 13 days later, Melania shared even more alarming news: Barron Trump, her 14-year-old son whom she shares with Donald, had also tested positive for the virus.
Unlike Melania, Donald wasted no time in hitting the campaign trail and making public appearances at rallies after his time with COVID-19 (to much criticism). The POTUS checked out of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland just four days after his positive diagnosis, and took the stage at his first rally since coming down with the virus on Oct. 12.
Just a day before Melania made her first public appearance since her battle with COVID-19, her former adviser and ex-friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (who’s also the author of Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship), leaked yet another one of their secretly recorded phone calls from 2018. That time, Melania reportedly appeared to “express astonishment” over the fact that Anna Wintour gave Beyoncé both the Sept. 2018 cover of Vogue and “editorial input,” according to NBC News, the outlet which Stephanie shared the audio with.