Former U.S. president Donald Trump first tested positive for covid-19 on September 26, 2020, several days before the world learned of the life-threatening diagnosis, according to an upcoming book from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and a new report from the Guardian.
When President Trump announced he had COVID-19 on October 2 of last year, there was speculation that perhaps he had acquired the disease much earlier. And it turns out that speculation was probably correct, though Trump received a negative test in between the first test and his announcement to the world, according to the Guardian, which obtained an early copy of an upcoming book by Meadows titled The Chief’s Chief.
Trump’s first positive test was September 26, the same day he held a huge superspreader event at the White House to celebrate his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. But the incubation period for COVID-19 can be anywhere from 2-14 days, meaning it can take that long after someone has been infected before they return a positive test.
From the Guardian:
Despite the president looking “a little tired” and suspecting a “slight cold”, Meadows says he was “content” that Trump travelled that evening to a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania.
But as Marine One lifted off, Meadows writes, the White House doctor called.
“Stop the president from leaving,” Meadows says Sean Conley told him. “He just tested positive for COVID.”
It wasn’t possible to stop Trump but when he called from Air Force One, his chief of staff gave him the news.
“Mr President,” Meadows said, “I’ve got some bad news. You’ve tested positive for COVID-19.”
Trump’s reply, the devout Christian writes, “rhyme[d] with ‘Oh spit, you’ve gotta be trucking lidding me’.”
We’re going to guess that Trump actually said, “Oh shit, you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.”
Trump was tested again and returned a negative test, though it’s not clear how many other times the former president was tested between then and his acknowledgement to the world that he’d acquired the coronavirus. Trump was treated with monoclonal antibodies and made a full recovery from the disease after a long knock on death’s door.
What else did Trump do during that time between his first positive test and his eventual admittance to the hospital? Trump debated Joe Biden on September 29, an event that was fraught with controversy over whether Trump had actually been tested for covid-19. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted Trump had been tested before the debate, but she had lied on countless issues before.
The American public was never told of Trump’s positive test on September 26 and there have been horrifying revelations since Trump left office about things the public was never told, including Trump’s attempted coup on January 6. How much more will we learn between now and when Trump likely runs for office again in 2024? It doesn’t really matter, since Trump’s supporters seem to be with him no matter what.
In fact, Trump is currently leading in polls that pit him against Biden or even Vice President Kamala Harris in a hypothetical 2024 run. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen again. It can’t happen again, right? Right?