Trump tested Covid positive days before 1st presidential debate, reveals book

  • The initial symptoms were mild and were taken to be a cold, the upcoming book recounts. Meadows also wrote that the positive Covid-19 test was quickly followed by a negative, shortly before the presidential debate.
Former US President Donald Trump.(Reuters file photo)
Former US President Donald Trump.(Reuters file photo)
Published on Dec 03, 2021 04:02 AM IST
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Former US President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus disease, days before his maiden presidential debate with challenger Joe Biden last year, according to a new book which is written by his then-chief of staff Mark Meadows. As per the report by the UK daily -- The Guardian, which obtained an advance copy of The Chief's Chief, a memoir by Meadows, Trump had tested positive for Covid-19 just three days before his September 29, 2020 election debate with Biden.

The initial symptoms were mild and were taken to be a cold, the upcoming book recounts. Meadows also wrote that the positive Covid-19 test was quickly followed by a negative, shortly before the presidential debate.

On October 2, Trump announced on Twitter he and his wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19. However, despite the negative test, as claimed in the report, Trump fell seriously sick due to the infection and was flown to the presidential facility at Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital a day later. He received intensive treatment for three nights there.

According to Meadows' account, the positive result came through just as Trump was leaving the White House for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on September 26.

A second test, that Meadows said was a more accurate kind, gave a negative result shortly afterwards. Trump took this as "full permission" to continue his schedule, including that night's rally and the Biden debate three days later, Meadows said in his book.

The latest developments have raised fresh questions on Trump about potential safety risks faced by the attendees of the debate. If the claims are confirmed, it would further show that the Trump administration, which has already faced heavy criticism for showing negligence in managing the pandemic, did not take the virus seriously.

According to the book, Trump's campaign also did not inform the debate organisers about the positive test. "I didn't want to alarm the public," Meadows wrote in the book explaining why he allowed Trump to continue with his schedule after the second, negative test.

Meanwhile, Trump has denied the claims. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Trump said, "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," he said.

(With agency inputs)

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