Analysis: Trump Came in Contact With 500 After Positive Test

Former POTUS has denied testing positive 6 days before announcement
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2021 1:48 AM CST
Analysis: Trump Came in Contact With 500 After Positive Test
President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, during an event to award Presidential Medal of Freedom, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – Donald Trump's former chief of staff claims the former POTUS tested positive for COVID-19 six days prior to the positive test that was actually announced by the White House—and if that's true, the Washington Post estimates Trump came in contact with 500 people between that test and the positive test that was revealed to the world. The newspaper's analysis notes that between Sept. 26, when the first positive result allegedly came back while Trump was aboard Air Force One, and Oct. 2, when the then-president was hospitalized after having tested positive for COVID the night prior, Trump attended crowded events without taking any precautions such as distancing or masking (and also took part in a debate with Joe Biden).

Medical experts tell the Post the timeline makes sense, because it's more likely to be about a week between a positive test and hospitalization, not mere hours. But Trump has denied Meadows' claim, and Meadows himself walked it back last week, saying through a spokesperson that the positive test mentioned in Meadows' book was clearly a "false positive," though the book also describes Trump as appearing to have a "slight cold" that day and being obviously fatigued for the next week. A second test that same day came back negative, so Trump continued to campaign as planned. Meanwhile, others in his orbit, from aides to members of the White House press corps, started getting felled by their own positive tests and illnesses; the count was more than two dozen by the end of October. See the Post's full analysis here. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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