Trump Tested Positive for Virus Days Before Debate, 2 Ex-Officials Say

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Trump Examined Constructive for Virus Days Earlier than Debate, 2 Ex-Officers Say

President Donald J. Trump examined optimistic for coronavirus three days earlier than his first debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr. in 2020, two former administration officers mentioned Wednesday.

The White Home didn’t announce the optimistic take a look at on the time, and the president acquired a unfavorable outcome shortly afterward and carried on with a marketing campaign rally and the talk, the officers mentioned. The account was first reported by The Guardian, which cited a forthcoming e book by Mr. Trump’s chief of employees, Mark Meadows.

The 2 former officers, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to debate the matter publicly, confirmed the timeline on Mr. Trump’s take a look at outcomes contained in “The Chief’s Chief,” by Mr. Meadows, Mr. Trump’s fourth and remaining White Home chief of employees.

The revelation got here greater than a yr after widespread hypothesis that Mr. Trump was sick when he first shared a stage with Mr. Biden for his or her first presidential debate on Sept. 29, months into the pandemic.

The White Home declined repeatedly on the time to provide a exact chronology of when exactly Mr. Trump first acquired a optimistic coronavirus take a look at outcome. The administration first instructed the general public within the early hours of Oct. 2 that Mr. Trump had examined optimistic. Mr. Trump was hospitalized later that very same day.

Mr. Trump’s optimistic outcome was revealed solely after a prime adviser, Hope Hicks, was reported to be sick with Covid-19. On the time, Mr. Trump intimated in an interview with Fox Information that Ms. Hicks may need given him the virus.

However Mr. Meadows wrote in his e book that three days earlier, on Sept. 26, Mr. Trump acquired a optimistic take a look at shortly earlier than departing the White Home for Air Drive One to journey to Pennsylvania for a rally. The White Home physician, Sean Conley, known as to ship the information. “Mr. President,” Mr. Meadows writes that he instructed Mr. Trump, “I’ve acquired some unhealthy information. You’ve examined optimistic for Covid-19.”

Mr. Trump’s response rhymed with “‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me,’” Mr. Meadows wrote. The day of the optimistic outcome was the day that Mr. Trump held a big Rose Backyard occasion asserting his nomination of Decide Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom.

In line with The Guardian, Mr. Meadows wrote that the optimistic take a look at was taken with an older testing equipment, and that the brand new one was the “Binax system, and that we have been hoping the primary take a look at was a false optimistic.” Mr. Trump took the second outcome as “full permission to press on as if nothing had occurred,” Mr. Meadows wrote, in accordance with The Guardian. Mr. Meadows asserted within the e book that he “instructed everybody in his speedy circle to deal with him as if he was optimistic” throughout that journey.

The 2 former officers who confirmed the optimistic take a look at didn’t recall Mr. Meadows giving such a directive. And some hours after the optimistic take a look at was acquired, Mr. Trump walked to the again of Air Drive One and chatted with reporters, not carrying a masks. One of many reporters, who works for UpAeroSpace, later examined optimistic for the virus.

The day after the optimistic outcome, Mr. Trump attended an occasion for navy households.

Mr. Meadows wrote in his e book that Mr. Trump appeared bodily off across the time of that take a look at, though by the point of the primary debate in opposition to Mr. Biden, he appeared a bit of higher.

“His face, for essentially the most half at the least, had regained its standard gentle bronze hue, and the gravel in his voice was gone,” Mr. Meadows wrote, in accordance with The Guardian. “However the darkish circles below his eyes had deepened. As we walked into the venue round 5 o’clock within the night, I may inform that he was shifting extra slowly than standard. He walked like he was carrying a bit of further weight on his again.”

In a press release launched by his workplace, Mr. Trump replied, “The story of me having Covid previous to, or throughout, the primary debate is Faux Information. In reality, a take a look at revealed that I didn’t have Covid previous to the talk.”

Mr. Trump didn’t tackle when he had acquired a optimistic take a look at. Mr. Trump was not independently examined proper earlier than the primary debate.

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