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

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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 stated Wednesday.

The White Home didn’t announce the optimistic check on the time, and the president acquired a damaging outcome shortly afterward and carried on with a marketing campaign rally and the controversy, the officers stated. The account was first reported by the Guardian, which cited a forthcoming e book by Mr. Trump’s chief of workers, 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 check outcomes contained in “The Chief’s Chief,” by Mr. Meadows, Mr. Trump’s fourth and remaining White Home chief of workers.

The revelation got here practically a 12 months 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 present a exact chronology of when exactly Mr. Trump first acquired a optimistic coronavirus check outcome. The administration first advised 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 might 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 check 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 advised Mr. Trump, “I’ve obtained 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 saying his nomination of Choose Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

In line with the Guardian, Mr. Meadows wrote that the optimistic check 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 check was a false optimistic.” Mr. Trump took the second outcome as “full permission to press on as if nothing had occurred,” Mr. Meadows wrote, based on the Guardian. Mr. Meadows asserted within the e book that he “instructed everybody in his quick circle to deal with him as if he was optimistic” throughout that journey.

The 2 former officers who confirmed the optimistic check didn’t recall Mr. Meadows giving such a directive. And some hours after the optimistic check 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 The New York Instances, 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 check, though by the point of the primary debate in opposition to Mr. Biden, he appeared a bit higher.

“His face, for probably the most half no less than, had regained its normal gentle bronze hue, and the gravel in his voice was gone,” Mr. Meadows wrote, based on The Guardian. “However the darkish circles beneath his eyes had deepened. As we walked into the venue round 5 o’clock within the night, I may inform that he was transferring extra slowly than normal. He walked like he was carrying a bit additional 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 actual fact, a check revealed that I didn’t have Covid previous to the controversy.”

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

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