- Meadows' book said Trump tested positive, then negative, for COVID-19 before debating Biden, The Guardian reported.
- Trump said the claim that he had COVID-19 during the debate was "fake news." The Guardian never reported this.
- Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, later said: "The president's right. It's fake news."
Mark Meadows dismissed the claim that then-President Donald Trump had COVID-19 while debating Joe Biden as "fake news" after Trump said the same.
The Guardian reported that Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, wrote in his upcoming book that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before his in-person debate with Biden, but later tested negative.
In a Wednesday statement, Trump said: "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."
The Guardian did not report that Trump had the coronavirus before or during his debate with Biden. It was not clear what specific report Trump was referring to.
In an interview with Newsmax later Wednesday, Meadows said: "The president's right. It's fake news." Meadows also did not name a specific report.
"If you actually read the book, the context of it, that story outlined a false positive. He literally had a test, he had two other tests after that that showed he didn't have COVID during the debate, and yet the way that the media wants to spin it is certainly to be as negative about Donald Trump as they can possibly can, while giving Joe Biden a pass."
Watch Meadows speak here:
—Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 2, 2021
Meadows' book said that Trump did another COVID-19 test with a different type of test kit before the debate, and that it came back negative, The Guardian reported. There was no indication as to how much time passed between the two tests.
Meadows did write, however, that he told everyone near Trump at the time to treat him as if he was positive for COVID-19, The Guardian reported.
The debate organizers were never told about Trump's initial positive test result, though the rules said participants had to test negative 72 hours before it, as Insider's Grace Panetta reported.
Meadows' book said Trump tested positive on September 26, 2020, per The Guardian. The debate was on September 29.
On October 1, Trump publicly announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
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