AceShowbiz - Joe Biden has responded to a report that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 before their 2020 debate. The president has thrown a jab at his predecessor when asked about his comment on the matter.
On Wednesday, December 1, ABC News' Mary Bruce asked Biden, "Mark Meadows has written a book revealing that President Trump tested positive for COVID a few days before your first debate. Do you think the former president put you at risk?"
"I don't think about the former President," the POTUS scoffed. He then said, "Thank you," before turning and walking away from the podium as reporters shouted questions at him, according to Newsweek.
In his memoir "The Chief's Chief", former Republican President's chief of staff Mark Meadows writes that Trump tested positive for COVID on September 26, 2020, three days before his September 29 presidential debate against Biden. Meadows says the then-president was en route to a rally in Middletown, Pennsylvania when then-White House physician Dr. Sean Conley told him, "Stop the President from leaving. He just tested positive for COVID."
Meadows claims that the positive test was done with an old-model kit, per The Guardian report. Trump was subsequently tested with "the Binax system," an antigen test for COVID-19, and returned a negative result, Meadows writes. It is unclear if the first test, which returned the positive result, was an antigen test or PCR test.
Meadows says that Trump took the negative test as "full permission to press on as if nothing had happened," but Meadows instructed those in Trump's "immediate circle to treat him as if he was positive." The White House only disclosed Trump had tested positive for COVID on October 1.
On Wednesday afternoon, at the White House press briefing, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters he was not aware that Trump had tested positive for ahead of the debate. "I certainly was not aware of his test positivity or negativity," Fauci said.
Pressed on whether Trump had put Biden at risk for contracting COVID, Fauci said, "I'm not going to specifically talk about who put who at risk. But I would say, as I've said, not only for an individual but for everybody, that if you test positive, you should be quarantining yourself."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said during the briefing that before the release of the book excerpt, Biden and his aides were not aware of Trump's early positive COVID test. "I think for people who were watching at home, obviously this debate occurred more than a year ago, and as you know, the President is very healthy, as you saw in the release of his medical report from last week, and he is tested regularly," Psaki said.
Psaki also criticized Trump, whom she said "withheld information reportedly about testing positive, and appeared apparently at a debate -- also held events of the White House, reportedly with military veterans and military families."
Trump, meanwhile, has denied Meadows' claims in the book. He said in a statement on Wednesday, "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."