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Trump came into contact with 500 people from the day he tested positive for Covid-19 in September 2020

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Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump came into contact with 500 people from the day he tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A new Washington Post analysis traced Trump's events and interactions in late September 2020.
  • Mark Meadows revealed Trump's previously-undisclosed September 26 positive test in his memoir.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Former President Donald Trump came into contact with 500 people, excluding attendees at his rallies, in the seven days after testing positive for Covid-19 in September 2020, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

Trump's fourth and final chief of staff Mark Meadows disclosed the president's previously-unknown September 26 positive test in his memoir "The Chief's Chief," a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian ahead of publication. 

Meadows wrote that Trump seemed a bit tired and appeared to have a slight cold on September 26, the day he hosted a large ceremony and reception at the White House for then-Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

But Meadows received some bad news that evening on the way to a Trump rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania, when White House physician Sean Conley called to inform him that Trump had been infected with the coronavirus. 

"Stop the president from leaving," Conley told Meadows as Trump was on Marine One. "He just tested positive for Covid."

"Mr President," Meadows recalled saying, "I've got some bad news. You've tested positive for Covid-19."

Meadows, in the book, sums up Trump's response as rhyming with "'Oh spit, you've gotta be trucking lidding me,'" according to the Guardian. 

The chief of staff then told Trump that the first positive test came from an older model kit, saying they would do another test with "the Binax system, and that we were hoping the first test was a false positive."

Instead of conducting a new Covid-19 test, officials simply re-ran the same sample through another testing device — not a proper procedure for Covid-19 testing — and got a negative result, according to The Post.

"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," Trump said in a statement last week, responding to a story in The Guardian about Meadows' book.

Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for Meadows, later said, "The book is quite clearly referring to a 'false positive' rapid test the president received," The Post reported. Williamson added that Trump "did not have Covid before or during the debate." And Meadows retweeted Trump's statement, posted by Trump's spokesperson Liz Harrington, decrying the account in his own book as fake news.

Meadows did not disclose Trump's positive test to those who attended the Rose Garden ceremony, the organisers of the September 29 presidential debate at Case Western University in Cleveland — where Trump risked exposing President Joe Biden and other debate attendees, or the public. 

Meadows also kept Vice President Mike Pence and senior White House staffers who had been in contact with Trump in the dark about the former president's first positive test, The Post reported. 

Trump came into contact with 150 people on November 26, the day of the Rose Garden ceremony; 70 people on November 27, when he held a White House ceremony with Gold Star families that he later blamed for infecting him; and 30 people on September 28, according to The Post's analysis. 

Trump then had contact with 20 people — including Biden — on September 29, the day of the presidential debate in Cleveland; 55 people on September 30; and 200 people on December 1, the day he and former first lady Melania Trump both tested positive, per The Post.

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