Donald Trump was already sick with COVID-19, and knew it, when he attended the Presidential Debate with Joe Biden in September of 2020. At least, that’s what Mark Meadows, who was Trump’s Chief of Staff says, confirming what was widely theorized at the time, since Trump was symptomatic only days after the debate, though symptoms of COVID-19 can take a while to show up.
However, the former president is now denying it, insisting that the stories his former Chief of Staff is sharing just aren’t true, and that a negative test before the debate is evidence. However, Meadows himself said that Trump had both a positive and a negative test result before the debate — and neither he nor Trump addresses whether the tests were the rapid ones, with higher error rates.
Trump released a statement through his spokesperson, Liz Harrington, who tweeted it out.
President Donald J. Trump:
"The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News. In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate." pic.twitter.com/5LgEfowK0s
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) December 1, 2021
“The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News. In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate.”
Michael Shear, a White House reporter for the New York Times says that Trump spoke with him and others on Air Force One briefly, unmasked, after the debate, and that a test later confirmed that Shear had contracted COVID-19 himself. Although there’s no way of confirming whether Shear — or anyone else — actually caught the potentially-deadly disease from Trump, this re-emphasizes the irresponsibility of Trump’s refusal to wear masks and take other protective precautions, especially if it’s true that he knew he was sick.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com