Donald Trump | AP
Washington: Former US President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before he was to face present President Joe Biden in their first presidential debate in September 2020, Guardian reported on Wednesday, citing a new book by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Each candidate was required "to test negative for the virus within seventy-two hours of the start time ... Nothing was going to stop (Trump) from going out there," Meadows wrote in his memoir titled "The Chief's Chief," which is due to be published next week by All Seasons Press.
The positive test was a shock to everyone in the White House, Meadows admitted.
"Mr President. I've got some bad news. You've tested positive for Covid-19," Meadows reportedly told Trump ahead of the debates. Trump's reply "rhyme[d] with 'Oh spit, you've gotta be trucking lidding me'."
The positive test was followed by a negative one. After that, Trump faced Biden in Cleveland on September 29, 2020.
Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania had COVID-19 on October 2, 2020. The president then spent three days at Walter Reed Hospital, where he was treated with an experimental antibody cocktail that targets the coronavirus spike protein.