Donald Trump tested Covid-positive three days before Biden debate, claims ex-chief of staff in book

WION Web Team
Washington, United StatesUpdated: Dec 01, 2021, 07:38 PM IST
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Trump has been in the news in the past few weeks for improperly handling official documents, and on Monday, the National Archives confirmed it had recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump's Florida estate that he had taken with him when he left Washington. Photograph:(AFP)

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Mark Meadows, who served as Trump's fourth and last chief of staff, has made the shocking revelation in his new memoir called 'The Chief's Chief'

Donald Trump's last chief of staff has claimed that the former US president had tested positive for COVID-19 just three days ahead of his debate with Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden in 2020.

Mark Meadows, who served as Trump's fourth chief of staff, made the shocking claim in his new memoir called 'The Chief's Chief,' according to media reports that accessed the book.

Explaining how ''Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there,'' Meadows said Trump was aware about the norm ''to test negative for the virus within 72 hours of the start time'' of the debate, which was held on September 29 last year.

Yet after receiving confirmation that he had tested positive, Trump went ahead with the debate, potentially endangering several lives. He had called the novel coronavirus, which has claimed millions of lives worldwide, as a ''hoax.''

According to Meadows, ''I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. 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.''

Since the positive test was done by an old kit, Trump suggested a new one be performed using the Binax system, hoping that it was a false positive. This proved beneficial as the second test came back negative.

Meadows has also provided the House of Representatives committee investigating the deadly January 6 US Capitol riot with records and agreed to appear soon for a deposition.

"Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney. He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition," Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House select committee, said in a statement.

Trump has urged his associates not to cooperate with the committee, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are protected by executive privilege, although many legal experts say that legal principle does not apply to former presidents.

On January 6, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from formally certifying his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a speech to his supporters repeating his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and urging them to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell" to "stop the steal."

Meadows was a Republican House member until he left in 2020 to join Trump's administration.

(With inputs from agencies)