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Melania cancels trip to Pennsylvania rally with Trump due to 'lingering cough' after battle with Covid-19

'With a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,' her chief of staff said in a statement
UPDATED OCT 20, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Melania Trump canceled her trip to Pennsylvania on Tuesday night to campaign with President Donald Trump hours before she was due to travel, citing a 'lingering cough' after her battle with COVID. "Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from Covid-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today," her chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. Tuesday's campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, was to be her first public appearance since her bout with coronavirus. 

As the president looks to close the Pennsylvania gap with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, first lady Melania Trump was all set to make her first campaign appearance in more than a year – soon after recovering from COVID-19. After successfully beating the novel coronavirus, the mother-of-one was going to join POTUS at the campaign event on Tuesday evening in Erie, Pennsylvania. The last time Melania was spotted out on the campaign trail was when she was out supporting her husband at an event in Orlando, Florida, in June 2019. She did, however, make a virtual appearance on national television when she addressed attendees at the Republican National Convention from the White House. 

It was reported that Melania will attend the Make America Great Again Rally with the president at Erie International Airport on Tuesday evening, according to NBC News. The FLOTUS to was expected to just be there to lend moral support to her spouse who is running for reelection this year. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend Mike Pence’s acceptance speech for the vice presidential nomination during the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument on August 26, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Getty Images)

It is unclear if Melania's appearance on the campaign trail so close to the election will have any sway on the polls, in which Trump's chances are not looking that good. A recent Hill-Harvard poll found that the president is trailing behind the former vice president by five points in Pennsylvania. 

News of Melania's appearance came nearly three weeks after it was announced that she had tested positive for coronavirus on October 2. In an extensive and rare statement released by her on the White House's official website, the first lady credited her diet and vitamins with helping her return to health, revealing that she suffered from symptoms such as mild, including aches, a cough, and fatigue.

"I encourage everyone to continue to live the healthiest life they can. A balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins really are vital to keep our bodies healthy. For your complete well-being, compassion and humility are just as important in keeping our minds strong. For me personally, the most impactful part of my recovery was the opportunity to reflect on many things—family, friendships, my work, and staying true to who you are," she said in the statement. 

She added: "I am happy to report that I have tested negative and hope to resume my duties as soon as I can. Along with this good news, I want people to know that I understand just how fortunate my family is to have received the kind of care that we did. If you are sick, or if you have a loved one who is sick - I am thinking of you and will be thinking of you every day. I pray for our country and I pray for everyone who is grappling with COVID-19 and any other illnesses or challenges."