BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump says he CAN’T REMEMBER when his last negative test was before COVID diagnosis and claims ‘85% of people who wear masks get the virus’ in fiery start to dueling TV town halls with Joe Biden
- Donald Trump said during his town hall on Thursday night he can’t remember when his last test was before COVID diagnosis
- ‘Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,’ he said when NBC’s Savannah Guthrie pressed him on the issue during a town hall meeting in Miami
- Trump announced he had tested positive in the early hours of October 3
- The White House has repeatedly refused to answer when the president last tested negative before he tested positive
- Trump also claimed that 85 percent of people who wear masks get the virus’
- Trump likely got the number from an article on the right-wing news site The Blaze, which said of those surveyed who had contracted COVID-19 85 per cent ‘always’ or ‘often’ wore face coverings.
- The conflicting town hall broadcasts came about after the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the previously scheduled October 15 debate because Trump refused to do a virtual debate
Donald Trump said Thursday he can’t remember when he last tested negative for the coronavirus before he was diagnosed with it last week.
Pressed repeatedly by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Trump couldn’t say if he was tested for the disease on the day of the first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The Commission on Presidential Debates required a negative test before the event.
‘Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,’ he said when she pressed him on the issue during a town hall meeting in Miami.
The president said he didn’t get tested for COVID every day. ‘No but I take a lot of tests,’ he said.
The White House has repeatedly refused to answer when the president last tested negative before he tested positive.
Before his September 29 debate with Biden, Trump attended two events at the White House – a Rose Garden ceremony for his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and an East Room event for Gold Star families – where several attendees later tested positive for COVID.
‘I was in great shape for the debate. And it was only after the debate, like a period of time, after the debate,’ Trump said, that he started feeling poorly.
Trump said he felt ‘fantastically’ at the debate and there ‘was no problem.’
‘I was in great shape for the debate,’ he repeated.
Donald Trump said during his town hall on Thursday night he can’t remember when his last test was before COVID diagnosis
Trump also claimed to NBC host Savannah Guthrie that 85 percent of people who wear masks get the virus’ – although that is not an accurate statistic
The conflicting town hall broadcasts came about after the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the previously scheduled October 15 debate
Trump also defended his decision not to wear a face mask.
‘People with masks are catching it all the time,’ he argued. He pointed to the Democratic Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina testing positive despite repeatedly wearing masks.
‘Just the other day they came out with a statement that 85% of the people that wear masks catch it,’ he said.
Trump likely got the number from an article on the right-wing news site The Blaze, which said of those surveyed who had contracted COVID-19 85 per cent ‘always’ or ‘often’ wore face coverings.
Mediaite reported that the number came from a CDC paper that found that 71 per cent of COVID-positive study participants reported always wearing masks, while another 14 per cent said they often wore masks, in the two weeks leading up to their coronavirus diagnosis.
The paper found that a slightly bigger group, 74 per cent, said they always wore masks and didn’t contract COVID-19.
Trump also defended his decision to quickly get back to work and on the campaign trail after having COVID.
‘As President, I have to be out there. I can’t be in a basement. I can’t be locked in a very beautiful room someplace in the White House,’ he said.
He specifically mentioned the event with Gold Star families where, afterward, several high ranking members of the military went into quarantine after a few of them tested positive.
‘I want to see the Gold Star families,’ Trump said. ‘I want to see everybody.’
But he said he wasn’t blaming the families – who lost a loved one in service to the country – for infecting him.
‘No I don’t know where it came from,’ he said. ‘You don’t know where it came from; the doctors don’t know where it came from.’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in a Town Hall format meeting with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos
The commission offered the hold the debate in a virtual capacity, but the motion was refused by Trump who called the suggestion a ‘waste’ of his time.
ABC quickly slated a Joe Biden town hall in the same time slot as when the virtual debate would’ve been held.
Following lengthy negotiations, NBC, which made Trump a household name with its series The Apprentice, booked him for a town hall airing at exactly the same time – a scheduling decision that has drawn wide criticism.
In the Thursday letter, the coalition of entertainers and executives said their critique is not the result of a ‘partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy.’
‘We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state,’ the letter said.
‘We are simply asking that NBC air the President’s town hall either before or after Vice President Biden’s so that American voters can have the opportunity to watch both.
‘We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here,’ the letter continued.
Among those leading the charge was Dan Fogelman, the mind behind NBC’s smash-hit series This Is Us, with cast members Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia also named among the signees.
A number of other prominent current and former NBCUniversal stars and producers are also named among the 105 co-signers of the letter, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Executive Producer Neal Baer.
President Donald J. Trump’s supporters gather next to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s supporters as they attend a demonstration in front of the Perez Art Museum where US President Donald J. Trump will attend a NBC News Town Hall in Miami
Other big names include producer Ryan Murphy, who created The New Normal, in addition to actor-producer Ben Stiller, and Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane, who recently signed a $200m production deal with NBCU.
Trump himself spoke about Thursday night’s town hall during a rally in Greenville, North Carolina this afternoon, calling the event a ‘set up’.
‘So you know I’m being set up tonight, right?,’ Trump told the gathered crowd. ‘So, I’m doing this town hall with Concast — C-O-N, right? Con, because it’s a con job. … So, I’m doing it, and it’s NBC. The worst.’
He also had some sarcastic remarks for the event’s moderator, Savannah Guthrie, who he said is ‘always lovely’ in an insincere tone.
Trump called NBC’s town hall with Biden earlier this month ‘a joke’ and, without offering evidence, accused the network of not treating both candidates fairly.
But he said he was eager to participate in the event, describing it as a ‘free; opportunity for him to reach more voters.
‘So, they asked me if I’d do it and I figured, what the hell, we get a free hour on television,’ Trump said. ‘So, I’ll see you later on NBC. I look forward to it.’