Trending

Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his first debate against Biden, book says

Business Insider US
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before debating Biden, a new book reveals. 
  • Former chief of staff Mark Meadows discusses the September 26 positive test in his memoir. 
  • The former president tested negative shortly after, but the positive test was not publicly disclosed.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Former President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his first presidential debate against then-candidate Joe Biden, Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed in his forthcoming memoir.

In the book, obtained by The Guardian ahead of publication, Meadows disclosed for the first time that Trump tested positive for Covid-19 on September 26. While a second test came back negative, the initial positive result was not revealed to the public at the time. 

Even though both candidates were required to test negative 72 hours before the debate, "Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there," Meadows wrote, according to the Guardian. 

Meadows said Trump looked  "a little tired" and suspected he maybe had a "slight cold." But Meadows said he received the news as Trump was on his way to a rally in Pennsylvania. 

"Stop the president from leaving," White House physician Sean Conley relayed to Meadows as Trump was on Marine One. "He just tested positive for Covid."

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

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

However, a second test came back negative a short while later. Meadows does not specify the duration between the two tests, per the Guardian's excerpt.

While Trump felt like he could return to business as usual, Meadows said he "instructed everyone in his immediate circle to treat him as if he was positive." 

"I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks," Meadows wrote, according to the Guardian, "but I also didn't want to alarm the public if there was nothing to worry about – which according to the new, much more accurate test, there was not."

Trump, along with former first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for Covid-19 just a few days later on October 1, which was part of a larger outbreak among White House staff. 


Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.