Washington: Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before he was to face Joe Biden in their first presidential debate in September 2020, Guardian reported on Wednesday, citing a new book by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Each candidate was required “to test negative for the virus within seventy-two hours of the start time … Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there,” Meadows wrote in his memoir titled “The Chief’s Chief,” which is due to be published next week by All Seasons Press.
The positive test was a shock to everyone in the White House, Meadows admitted.
“Mr President. I’ve got some bad news. You’ve tested positive for Covid-19,” Meadows reportedly told Trump ahead of the debates. Trump’s reply “rhyme[d] with ‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me’.”
The positive test was followed by a negative one. After that, Trump faced Biden in Cleveland on September 29, 2020.
Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania had COVID-19 on October 2, 2020. The president then spent three days at Walter Reed Hospital, where he was treated with an experimental antibody cocktail that targets the coronavirus spike protein.