A former aide said in a book that Trump was positive before the discussion

Donald Trump He tested positive for COVID-19 three days before his first presidential debate in September 2020 with Joe Biden And days before that diagnosis was made public, according to a book prepared by Trump’s former chief of staff.

In “The Chief’s Chief,” obtained by The Guardian ahead of its December 7 release, Mark Meadows wrote that the chief had received a negative test shortly after testing positive and had resumed his usual activities, including attending the debate against democratic The challenger. Trump on Wednesday denied Meadows’ allegations.

This disclosure, if confirmed, would also show that the Trump White House did not take the virus seriously despite its spread among the White House and campaign staff, and eventually sent Trump to the hospital, where he needed additional oxygen and experimental treatments.

The former president said Meadows’ story “about me getting COVID before or during the first debate is Fake News. In fact, a test revealed that I didn’t have COVID before the debate.”

The book’s publisher, All Season Press, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The White House has started a testing system for top Trump aides and those who will be in contact with him after previous positive cases near him. But his aides have repeatedly refused to reveal when Trump will be tested in the discussion week, leading to speculation that he may have contracted COVID-19 while with Biden.

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News previously said he believed Trump may have had COVID-19 at the time of the discussion due to the incubation period of the virus. It usually takes several days between the time a person is exposed to the virus when there is enough viral load to be detected.

Trump was 74 and Biden was 78 at the time, putting them both at risk of developing serious complications from the virus. COVID-19 vaccines were not available then.

In a tweet early on October 2, 2020, Trump announced that he and the First Lady Melania Trump The result of the coronavirus test was positive. He was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later that day.

But Meadows writes that Trump first tested positive on September 26, three days before the debate and on the same day he held a Rose Garden gala for his final Supreme Court nominee, Amy Connie Barrett. Trump traveled that evening to a rally in Pennsylvania.

Meadows, Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff, wrote that he received a call from the White House physician as Trump’s helicopter was taking off from the White House for the rally. Meadows says he was told that Trump tested positive and that he was instructed to prevent the president from leaving.

When Meadows told Trump the result, the president responded, according to the Guardian, “(d) rhyme with ‘Hey spit, you should truck me up’.”

But Meadows said the test was done with an old sample kit and told Trump it would be repeated with a newer version. After a “short but tense wait,” Meadows reported that a second test came back negative.

Trump viewed this outcome as “full permission to move forward as if nothing had happened,” Meadows wrote. In subsequent days, he held news events, met with Goldstar families at the White House, and attended several fundraisers and appeared at the debate.

On the day of the debate, September 29, Meadows wrote that Trump sounded a little better — “focusing on the word a little.”

“His face, for the most part at least, had regained its usual light bronze color, and the pebbles in his voice were gone. But the dark circles under his eyes deepened. As we walked into the place around five in the evening, I could tell he was moving more slowly than usual. He was He walks as if he has a little extra weight on his back,” Meadows was quoted in his writing.

Meadows noted that both candidates were required to test negative for the virus within 72 hours of the discussion, but wrote that “nothing will stop (Trump) from getting out there.”

Doctor. Anthony Fauci President Biden’s chief medical advisor, who also served in the Trump administration, said he was not aware of the test results but that anyone who tested positive should isolate them from others.

“I’m not going to talk specifically about who puts who is at risk, but I’m going to say like I said, not just for anyone, but for everyone, if you test positive, you should self-isolate,” he said on the news. Wednesday briefing.

Biden ignored the report. “I am not thinking about the former president,” he told reporters.

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