Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his debate with Joe Biden, according to his former chief of staff

Donald Trump has always maintained the greatest vagueness over the timeline of his Covid-19 infection. In The Chief’s Chief, a work to be published next week and the good pages of which have been published by the Guardian, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows says that the former US president tested positive three days before his debate with Joe Biden. And that this result was ignored because a second test carried out in the wake was negative. Donald Trump reacted, assuring that it was “fake news”, but with an ambiguous statement.

According to Mark Meadows, a first test came back positive on September 26, just after the ceremony in the Rose Garden for judge Amy Coney Barrett – an event at the origin of a major cluster with around thirty elected officials and close to Trump infected. The ex-president’s doctor, Sean Conley, called the chief of staff as Donald Trump took off in the Marine One helicopter for a meeting in Pennsylvania, telling him, “Stop the president from leaving, he has just tested positive for Covid. “According to Mark Meadows, the helicopter was taking off, and he called Donald Trump during the flight to tell him the news:” Mr. President, I have bad news, you have just tested positive for Covid “. “Oh you gotta be fucking kidding me,” Trump reportedly replied. (“Are you kidding me “).

« Fake news », selon Trump

According to Meadows, the positive result came from an “old generation” test and a second rapid Binax test (antigenic and not PCR) was carried out immediately afterwards and came back negative – still while Donald Trump was at on board Marine One. So he attended the rally, met military families the next day, spoke to reporters without wearing a mask and then crossed swords with Joe Biden. “Nothing could have stopped him” from participating, writes Mark Meadows. The US president was hospitalized three days after the debate at Walter Reed Hospital, where he had been placed on oxygen.

In the following weeks, Donald Trump declined to say whether he had been tested on the day of the debate. “Maybe yes, maybe no, I’m tested very regularly,” he replied to an NBC reporter on October 15. Assuring however: “After the debate, I believe one day later, Thursday evening late, I was positive. This is the first time that I have learned about it. A statement which seems to contradict the assertions of Mark Meadows.

“The story I had about the Covid before, or during, the first debate is fake news. In fact, a test revealed that I did not have the Covid before the debate, ”reacted Donald Trump on Wednesday. This does not rule out the possibility of a positive test before the second negative.