Miami town hall: Trump doesn’t remember if he was tested before first debate

President Donald Trump said Thursday, during a town hall in Miami, that he was unsure if he was tested for COVID-19 before the first presidential debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Screenshot/UPI

Oct. 16 (UPI) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he doesn’t recall if he was tested for COVID-19 before the first debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden days before he tested positive for the virus.

Appearing in a town hall event scheduled to compete with Biden on another network after declining to participate in a digital debate, Trump said he “possibly” was tested before the debate but could not say for sure.

“If you ask the doctor they’ll give you a perfect answer … but they take a test and I leave and I go about my business,” said Trump.

Trump also said that he had no remaining symptoms of COVID-19, 10 days after being discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he received three days of treatment for the virus.

“I’m great, I feel good,” the president said, noting he has held rallies in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina since his release.

Trump also did not expressly state if he experienced pneumonia after testing positive for the virus, saying doctors told him his lungs were “a little bit different, a little bit perhaps infected,” without clarifying what the infection was.

The president added that he was admitted to the hospital at the encouragement of his doctors following the positive test.

“I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel strong, I had a little bit of a temperature. The doctors at the White House are fantastic, as you can imagine. They really didn’t want to take a chance and they said ‘Let’s go to the hospital,'” Trump said.

NBC announced the event Wednesday to coincide with ABC’s town hall for Biden at the same time. Both events are taking place when the two presidential contenders were supposed to be taking part in their second debate.

The town hall-style debate was canceled after Trump refused to participate because of format changes. The Commission on Presidential Debates made the event virtual after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month.

“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump said. “The commission changed the debate style and that’s not acceptable to us.”

For Trump’s event, Guthrie is positioned at least 12 feet away from the president. The event abided by recommended distancing guidelines, the network said. The audience was required to wear masks, answer a symptoms questionnaire and submit to a temperature check beforehand.

Dr. Clifford Lane, clinical director at the National Institutes of Health, told NBC News in a letter that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci have reviewed Trump’s recent medical data and determined “with a high degree of confidence” that the president is “not shedding infectious virus.”


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