Donald Trump concealed that he had tested positive for coronavirus three days before the first electoral debate with Joe Biden, then a candidate for the presidency of the United States. It is one of the revelations of the book by Mark Meadows, fourth and last Chief of Staff of the Republican president, to whose content the British newspaper has had access The Guardian. The face to face took place on September 29 in Cleveland (Ohio). Three days later, the White House announced that he had been infected.
Meadows underlines in the book that, although Trump knew that both candidates had to present a negative test of the virus carried out in the 72 hours before the meeting, “nothing was going to prevent him” from participating in the debate. By age – Trump was 74 and Biden, 77 – both applicants fell into the risk group. The Republican presented a negative result, corresponding to a test carried out later with a different testing system.
The memoirs of Meadows’ passage through the White House, The Chief’s Chief (The boss’s boss), will be published next week by a conservative publisher. The British newspaper obtained a copy on Tuesday, the day Meadows announced that it would cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol by a horde of Trumpists. In a statement, Trump on Wednesday called the Meadows disclosures false. Recognized germophobic, bordering almost on obsession, he never received anyone who had not been previously tested.
The White House announced that Trump had caught the virus on October 2. According to the official version, the White House statement came just an hour after receiving the test results. The Republican president was hospitalized that same day and received experimental treatment. Trump has stood out for the negligence in terms of security measures such as the use of the mask and for the disdain for scientific evidence, starring in serious disagreements with the chief medical adviser of the White House, Anthony Fauci, which has been confirmed by Biden.
Given the brief temporary parenthesis between the first debate and the announcement of the contagion, speculation about the possibility that the then president attended the debate infected have not ceased, especially due to various symptoms that the president showed those days, when he was seen “ a little tired and slightly cold, ”Meadows recalls.
On Saturday, September 26, the Trump Administration held the presentation of the ultra-conservative judge Amy Coney Barret for the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House, the last appointment – and also express, on the eve of the elections – that definitively inclined towards the Republican side the ideological orientation of the court. The massive event was criticized by health experts for being a “super contagion event.”
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In the afternoon, continue The Guardian, when the Republican had taken off by helicopter to the Air Force One, the presidential plane, to fly to Pennsylvania, the White House doctor called Meadows. “Stop the president from leaving. He has just tested positive for covid, “he told her. In communication with the Air Force One, his chief of staff gave him the news. Trump responded with an expletive, adding: “You would have to be a truck to stop me.”
After receiving the negative result of the second test, Trump pretended nothing was wrong. His chief of staff asked the entire delegation accompanying him to act with caution as if he had tested positive. His only hope was that “the first test was a false positive.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.