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Donald Trump’s COVID-19 Timeline — Lies, Gaslighting, And Contradictions

Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday morning — at least, if you believe his tweets. If, on the other hand, you believe Dr. Sean Conley, who spoke about the president at a Saturday morning press conference, the positive test was Wednesday morning. Here’s a breakdown of the timeline, depending on who you choose to trust.

Donald Trump COVID timeline
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Saturday, Sept 26

Donald Trump holds an event to announce his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. This is later speculated to have been a super-spreader event at which numerous attendees contracted the virus, though this isn’t confirmed. There are few masks and no social distancing.

Tuesday Evening, Sept 29

Donald Trump appears at a debate with Joe Biden. During the debate, the president mentions that everyone was tested before the event. It would later be revealed, as reported by Newsweek, that the Trump family arrived late and skipped testing.

Hope Hicks travels with Trump to this event.

Wednesday Morning, Sept 30

If you believe Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, as he spoke to press on Saturday morning, saying that Trump was “72 hours into his diagnosis,” this is when Trump tested positive, as reported by the Washington Post.

Wednesday Afternoon, Sept 30

Trump holds a press conference at the White House. He is talking about testing, but doesn’t wear a mask or mention if he’s had a positive test.

Wednesday Evening Sept 30

Trump holds a fundraiser at a private residence of a donor, according to the public schedule located at Factbase. Hope Hicks is aboard the plane to this event.

Thursday Morning & Afternoon, Oct 1

Kayleigh McEnany holds a press conference. She does not mention a positive test. She sclods the press for asking about social distancing at Trump’s rallies.

Donald Trump has a roundtable meeting with supporters at Bedminster, New Jersey, and other events.

This is when Hope Hicks is first reported to have had a positive test for COVID-19. According to Fox News this information came from a White House official, on condition of anonymity. It’s unclear when or if the White House intended to release the information.

Insideres tell Associated Press that it was also on Thursday that Trump began exhibiting physical symptoms of the virus.

Thursday Evening, Oct 1

At 10:44pm est, Donald Trump confirms that Hicks has tested positive, says he’s waiting for the results of a test, and beginning a quarantine process while he waits. As the White House has access to rapid testing, this invites skepticism from the public. At this point, if you believe the timeline given by Dr. Conley, it has been around 36 hours since Trump’s positive test. If you believe Trump’s tweet, instead, he has not yet received test results.

However, a memo from Trump’s doctor to Kayleigh McEnany describes positive test results as being received ‘this evening’ and bears this date. (This is not necessarily contradictory; only an addition to the confusion.)

White House letter Donald Trump COVID19
[Image via White House]

Overnight Thursday/Early Friday Morning, Oct 2

Around 1am eastern time on Friday, the president says that he and Melania have tested positive, and will begin to quarantine. By the Dr. Conley timeline, it has been nearly two days since the diagnosis. By Trump’s timeline, this is the moment of diagnosis. This is also the date on which the memo is released publicly on the White House site.

Friday Afternoon & Evening, Oct 2

At 4pm, Kayleigh McEnany releases a statement assuring the public that Trump is “fatigued but in good spirits,” and that the medical team will be giving him further recommendations.

At around 6:30pm, Trump announces he’s going to Walter Reed Medical Center, out of an abundance of caution. At that time, CNN reported that the White House doctor had described Trump as ‘fatigued,’ and that he was reported to have a fever.

Saturday Morning, Oct 3

Between 11am and noon is when Dr. Sean Conley declares that Trump has been fever-free for 24 hours (less than 24 hours after he departed for Walter Reed), and is 72 hours into his diagnosis. (It is approximately 36 hours since Trump reported his positive test.

The White House is currently standing by Donald Trump’s stated timeline, rather than the one expressed by his doctor.



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