December 6, 2021
In a bolt from the blue, a former member of the Trump Administration has revealed in a new book that former President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before his first general election debate with former Vice President Joe Biden and arrived late for the event so he wouldn’t have to be tested for the virus, reports CNN.
The revelation came in “A Chief’s Chief,” by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and was first reported by The Guardian. Meadows writes that after Trump tested positive, he then got a negative test—adding that “nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there.”
You’ll remember that, according to debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, Trump and his entourage arrived too late on the day of the debate—the afternoon of the 29th—to be tested by an independent party.
As Wallace recounted: “For them to get tested, there wouldn’t have been enough time to have the test and have the debate at 9:00 that night,” he said. “They didn’t show up until 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon. There was an honor system when it came to the people that came into the hall from the two campaigns.”
The honor system isn’t really something that Donald Trump buys into. This is a man who made more than 30,000 — yes, that number is correct—false or misleading claims over the course of his four years, according to The Washington Post.
Trump released a statement on Wednesday morning, December 1, disputing Meadows’ account.
“The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News,” Trump said. “In fact, a test revealed I did not have Covid prior to the debate.”
However, according to CNN, the context around when Trump got sick is not helpful to the former president. The news network says, “He himself openly speculated that he contracted COVID during an event for military families at the White House. In an interview on October 8 on Fox Business, Trump speculated that it was that event where he got the virus.
In that same debate, when the conversation turned to the importance of masking as a way to mitigate the spread of the virus, Trump offered this comparison to Biden: “I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from him, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Research contact: @CNN