Monday, January 24

Trump tested positive for covid ahead of 2020 debate with Biden

(CNN) — Then-President Donald Trump tested positive for covid-19 three days before his first presidential debate of 2020 with Joe Biden, although it also had a negative result in that same period, according to excerpts from an upcoming book by the Republican president’s former chief of staff reported by The Guardian.

The previously unknown positive test is revealed in the memoirs of Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, titled “The Chief’s Chief.” The copy of this book was obtained by The Guardian prior to the publication of the book next week.

Trump said in a statement Wednesday that “the story that I had covid before or during the first debate is false news. In fact, a test revealed that I had no covid before the debate.”

CNN has reached out to Meadows and then-White House physician Dr. Sean Conley for comment.

Trump and his wife test positive for coronavirus 13:12

¿Tuvo Trump covid?

Trump received the positive test on September 26, 2020, according to Meadows, The Guardian reported. That day, Trump hosted a White House rose garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which was later deemed by medical experts a wide-spread event. At least 12 people who attended the event tested positive for the virus.

Trump, whom Meadows said looked “a bit tired,” was heading to a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania, that night when Meadows received a call from Conley informing him that Trump tested positive for COVID-19, according to the excerpt. Meadows wrote that Conley told him: “Keep the president from going. He just tested positive for covid.”

Meadows states in his book that the positive test was done with an older model, The Guardian reported.

Trump was later tested with “the Binax system,” an antigen test for COVID-19, which came back negative, Meadows wrote. It is not clear whether the first test to be positive was an antigen test or a PCR test.

According to FDA guidelines, when using the Binax test, “negative results do not rule out SARS-Covid-2 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for patient treatment or management decisions, including infection control decision. “

Meadows wrote that Trump took the negative test as “full permission to move on as if nothing happened,” but Meadows instructed those in Trump’s “immediate circle to treat him as if he were positive,” The Guardian reported.

“I didn’t want to take unnecessary risks,” Meadows wrote, according to The Guardian, “but I also didn’t want to alarm the public if there was nothing to worry about.”

Birx and Fauci reveal what it was like to work with Trump 3:32

Even with covid, Trump continued with his public events

A former high-ranking White House official told CNN that news that Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 had circulated within the West Wing prior to the first presidential debate.

Between those dates, Trump appeared at a reception at the White House for Gold Star families and held a press conference indoors on September 27, 2020. He also visited his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, that same day, according to reports to the press.

The next day, Trump held an event on the South Lawn of the White House, where he met with workers from Lordstown Motors, and then appeared in the White House rose garden to hail a new coronavirus testing strategy.

On September 29, 2020, Trump traveled to Cleveland for his first presidential debate against his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump was too late to be tested before the debate, according to Fox News host Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate.

During the debate, Trump and Biden adhered to social distancing protocols, but the two candidates, both in their 70s, were in an enclosed space in a room with dozens of people in the audience, some of whom were not wearing masks. .

Trump traveled to Minnesota on Sept. 30 for an outdoor rally in Duluth and a private fundraiser in Minneapolis.

Then, he announced in the early hours of Friday, October 2, 2020 that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. He was hospitalized later that night.

According to the White House, Trump tested positive for coronavirus on October 1, just two days after the debate.

Trump, on steroid treatment and oxygen assistance 8:04

“I was not going to stop Trump from leaving.”

In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Trump did not definitively say whether he was tested for covid-19 on the day of his first debate against Biden. He said he did not remember the last time he tested negative for coronavirus before testing positive on October 1.

During a press conference on October 3, 2020, while Trump was receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for covid-19, Conley did not reveal Trump’s latest negative test for the virus, saying: “I will not remember all tests going back, but he and his entire staff are routinely screened. “

In his book, Meadows wrote that, although he knew that each candidate had to test negative within 72 hours after the debate started, “… Nothing was going to prevent [Trump] come out, “The Guardian reported.

After the then-president announced he had COVID-19, Meadows refused to tell his own staff the precise timeline of when Trump had tested positive at the time, the former senior White House official added.

The official went on to say that the virus was simply not taken seriously by some high-level attendees.

Staff were sometimes in meetings and around other attendees before going home sick with COVID-19.

“There was a strange disregard for making others sick among some people in the west wing,” the official said.

Another adviser also said Meadows was keeping staff uninformed about the exact details of Trump’s illness.

CNN’s Gabby Orr and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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