U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Trump, who earlier this month tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalized for several days, is set to square off against the former vice president Biden on Thursday evening at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennesee for their second, and last debate of the 2020 election season.
That debate originally was supposed to be the third debate by the two candidates.
But the second scheduled debate last Thursday was scrapped after Trump balked at plan by the Commission on Presidential Debates’s plan to hold the showdown virtually, instead of in person, in light of the president’s positive diagnosis.
Trump has claimed he does not remember whether he was tested for the virus on the day of the first debate, which took place on Sept. 29 in Cleveland. That debate occurred two days before Trump tested positive.
“Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,” Trump told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie last Thursday when asked if he took a Covid-19 test on the day of that debate. Trump’s sitdown with Guthrie occurred as Biden was questioned on ABC, a dueling set of broadcasts that were scheduled as a result of the cancellation of the original second debate.
The president and his aides have repeatedly refused to say when his last negative coronavirus test was before he tested positive at the beginning of October.
On Monday, when a reporter asked the president if he would take a test before Thursday’s debate, Trump said, “I would have no problem with it.”
” I’m totally free, right,” Trump said, referring to test results released by the White House physician last week indicating he was negative for the virus on consecutive days.
“I’m immune, they say. They say if you’ve had it, you are immune,” he said.
That claim contradicts a recent report in the British medical journal The Lancet, which said that ” the degree of protective immunity conferred by infection” with Covid-19 “is currently unknown.
The article detailed two cases of coronavirus infections in the same person.
Trump again refused to say Monday when his last negative test was before he tested positive.
The president said, “Is that very important to you?” and “Why is it so important to you?” when a reporter pressed him on that question.
Trump then said, falsely, “my doctors have already given it.”
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.