Trump Berates 'Corrupt News' Over Allegations He Was COVID-Positive Ahead of 2020 Debate With Biden
11:04 GMT 07.12.2021 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AFP 2023 / JIM BOURG(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on October 22, 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (R) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020
© AFP 2023 / JIM BOURG
Last Friday, US President Joe Biden insisted that he doesn't have the coronavirus and that his coughing spells during a speech earlier that day were just a cold he picked up from family.
Former US President Donald Trump has bashed the American press for going ahead with reports that he tested positive three days before his first presidential debate with then-Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden in late September 2020.
Trump said in a Monday statement that "the Fake News continues to push the false narrative that I had COVID prior to the first debate. My Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed I did not have COVID before or during the debate […]".
The remarks came after The Guardian obtained a copy Mark Meadows' forthcoming book, where the former White House chief of staff argued that Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus virus three days before the 29 September 2020 debate.
26 October 2021, 10:40 GMT
Meadows, however, insisted that another test conducted with the help of the newer Binax rapid antigen came back negative before Trump was scheduled to attend the event.
With the Trump administration preferring not to disclose the first positive test to the public at the time, the 45th president announced that he and First Lady Melania had contracted COVID-19 three days after the debate.
Trump went on to criticise the media for the "biased" coverage of the previous and incumbernt administrations, saying Biden is usually given "a pass". He claimed that POTUS "goes around coughing on people all over the place, and yet the Corrupt News doesn't even cover it".
According to the former US president, "the Fake News" continues "to shield Biden, who has been a disaster not just on COVID, where we have more deaths this year than last, but on the border, the economy, inflation, Afghanistan, gas prices, and everything else. Probably because he's not supposed to be in office in the first place!"
Last week, Biden spoke in a hoarse voice during a Friday speech, also coughing multiple times. When asked by a reporter about his health following the address, the US president said that he had picked up a cold from his grandson.
© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEU.S. President Joe Biden coughs as he delivers remarks on the November jobs report at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2021
U.S. President Joe Biden coughs as he delivers remarks on the November jobs report at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2021
© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUE
"I'm OK, I have a test every day — a COVID test. I have been checking for all the strains. What I have is a 1-and-a-half year-old grandson, who had a cold, who loves to kiss his pop", POTUS asserted.
His self-diagnosis was confirmed by White House physician Kevin O'Connor who wrote in a letter Friday that "as is readily apparent, President Biden is experiencing some increased nasal congestion this week". Last month, O’Connor said that Biden "remains fit for duty" after his first physical exam while in office.
This followed a number of public events that saw POTUS experiencing coughing spells, something that White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said was "not an issue of concern".
"There's a range of reasons why we need to clear our throat or have a light cold", she told reporters when asked about Biden having "a repeated cough on many occasions".