Trump Tries to Bat Down Claim That He Tested Positive for COVID Prior to Biden Debate—But No One's Buying It
Former President Donald Trump's ex-Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, made a shocking claim in his upcoming memoir that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 just three days before his chaotic first presidential debate against then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden on September 29 of last year.
Though Meadows' book also states that Trump later returned a negative test, he announced he did, in fact, have COVID on October 2, just days after the debate.
The allegation of an unreported positive test generated widespread controversy, with people noting that not only did Trump potentially endanger Biden, but many others—including Military families—with whom he interacted in that time frame.
Trump soon issued a brief statement calling Meadows' claim "Fake News," writing:
“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.”
Though Trump noted he received a negative result from a different test, Meadows writes in the book that Trump had
“to test negative for the virus within seventy two hours of the start time … Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there.”
What's more, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed two sources with knowledge confirmed Meadows' account of Trump's initial positive test.
Given that Trump told more than 30 thousand lies over the course of his presidency, people weren't inclined to believe his denial.
You know when he says, “In fact”, he actually means, “I’m lying completely.” https://t.co/xVwEse6asl
— placeholder text here (@TheOnlyJDB) December 1, 2021
Ok. Now we know it’s a 100% true. https://t.co/vs2ptY3SGK
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) December 1, 2021
It’s not some random news “story” with an anonymous source. Trump’s own Chief of Staff is literally making this claim in his book. https://t.co/hhCntjrLzD
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) December 1, 2021
Narrator: He had covid before the debate. https://t.co/YfXc1rYHcd
— BenjaminPShillaber (@p_shillaber) December 1, 2021
This isn’t even a denial! He just admits half the story is true, evades the allegation that he tested positive before the debate, and draws his own conclusion about whether that means he had covid. https://t.co/KYln5Qxlvq
— Joe Kelly (@JKels88) December 1, 2021
Trump's behavior at the time has new context in light of this allegation.
Hours after he received the call from Meadows informing him of a positive test, Trump came to the back of AF1 without a mask and talked with reporters for about 10 minutes. I was wearing a mask, but still got COVID, testing positive several days later. https://t.co/NJLINb6cLN
— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) December 1, 2021
Remember the sense of shock when Trump admitted he was Covid positive and then was rushed to Walter Reed 18 hours later? Patients don't usually go downhill that fast. Well, on the Meadows timeline, his hospitalization (six days later) makes a lot more sense.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 1, 2021
This positive test came one day before Trump met with Gold Star military families, whom he later suggested had infected him because they loved him so much that “they want to hug me and they want to kiss me.” https://t.co/leTTGar3A9
— Roger Sollenberger found true love, suckers (@SollenbergerRC) December 1, 2021
Meadows has also begun limited cooperation with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.