The potential scandal has emerged just ahead of the release of The Chief’s Chief, a new memoir by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The book has already made headlines for the bombshell revelation that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 just days before his first debate with then-Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. Trump, his family and his staffers all defied mask mandates when visiting the debate venue. Just days later, Trump was also hospitalized for the virus.
Now a new report from The Washington Post further implicates the Trump family–including Melania Trump and Donald Trump, Jr.–as aiding in the coverup.
“The Trump family has long treated rules and laws as nuisances that are only for the little people. And the news that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 before the first 2020 presidential debate shows that this tendency may be even more depraved and malevolent than you thought,” Greg Sargent writes in The Washington Post. “It turns out that this revelation, which comes in a new book by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, also implicates members of Trump’s family, including Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr.”
“That’s because multiple people around Trump, including his wife, Melania Trump, and his kids Donald Jr. and Eric, all sat maskless at the Sept. 29 debate, according to contemporaneous reports, despite the fact that debate attendees were required to wear masks,” Sargent further notes. “As numerous reporters personally witnessed at the time, Trump’s family members did this after rebuffing a direct request to mask up from a doctor with the Cleveland Clinic, which helped organize the debate. That doctor even offered them masks, and they declined.”
According to Mark Meadows, Trump first tested positive for COVID-19 on September 26 following a Rose Garden “super spreader” event to announce the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Coney Barret herself tested positive for COVID following the ceremony. Trump also, according to Meadows, began to show early signs of COVID infection, including fatigue and cold-like symptoms. Meadows ordered a confirmatory test with a different testing model known as the Binax system. Trump tested negative with that model and refused to take any precautionary measures thereafter, holding indoor press conferences and approaching supporters without a mask.
Meadows, however, instructed staff to treat Trump as if he had COVID.
The night of the debate itself, Meadows writes, Trump had even more serious signs of COVID infection. He also refused to take a COVID screening test prior to entering the venue. Nobody in the Trump family or in Trump’s staff had told the debate organizers about Trump’s earlier positive test. Three days later, Trump and Melania checked into the hospital for COVID-19 treatment.