Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump's ex-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, revealed in his upcoming memoir that former President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before his first debate with then-candidate Joe Biden. Meadows claimed Trump later took another test which turned out to be negative, but just days later, Trump had indeed been infected with COVID and jetted to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment.
Trump insists the initial positive test was a "false positive," a claim Meadows echoed on far-right disinformation outlets following the former President's rebuke. Meadows and Trump are asking the public to believe that Trump just happened to receive a false positive less than a week before actually being positive for COVID-19.
What's more, there are major questions about the reliability of the supposed negative test Trump took following the initial positive, and Meadows aided Trump in concealing the "false" positive from Trump's inner circle as well as the public.
Since this revelation, there's been enhanced scrutiny on how many people Trump interacted with in the days between the initial positive and his hospitalization.
According to a report from the Washington Post, Trump interacted with more than 500 people in that time frame, all while characteristically shirking the health guidelines issued by his own officials, such as mask-wearing and social distancing. By the end of that month, more than two dozen people who interacted with Trump had tested positive for the virus.
Social media users decried Trump's and his administration's recklessness.
Others weren't surprised.
For most of the 2020 campaign, Trump refused to limit crowd sizes of his rallies, despite the recommendations of his own health officials. A Stanford University study found these rallies led to 30 thousand COVID cases.