Trump arrived too late to Biden debate to be tested for Covid and refused to wear masks, moderator Chris Wallace claims
DONALD Trump arrived too late to the debate with Joe Biden to be tested for coronavirus and instead used a trust system, moderator Chris Wallace has said.
Reports also suggest that the president and his entourage refused to follow rules requiring guests to wear masks after arriving for the event.
The claims follow the news that the president has been taken a military hospital near Washington DC after contracting coronavirus.
The president confirmed that both he and first lady Melania had tested positive on Thursday, just days after his debate with Biden on Tuesday night.
On Friday, moderator Wallace spoke about the news with fellow Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, who also attended the debate.
Hemmer read out a statement from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where the debate was held, which said everyone travelling with each candidate had been tested by their campaigns, not the venue, and had tested negative.
He added that both he and Wallace had been tested by the clinic, and noted that it sounded like an "honor system" had been used between the venue and the campaigns.
In response, Wallace said: “The difference was I arrived on Sunday, you arrived on Monday. They didn’t arrive until Tuesday afternoon.
"So for them to get tested, there wouldn’t have been enough time to have the test and have the debate at 9:00 that night. They didn’t show up until 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon.
"Yeah, there was an honor system when it came to the people that came into the hall from the two campaigns.”
'I WEAR A MASK WHEN NEEDED'
During Tuesday's debate, multiple members of Trump's entourage, including his four adult children, were also pictured sitting in the audience without masks on.
Rules set out at the Cleveland Clinic required everyone in the audience to wear a mask.
NBC reports that a doctor from the clinic moved towards Trump's family to ask them to put masks on, but that someone nearby shook their head at her, and she never spoke to them.
A member of staff from the hall was reportedly heard saying to her: “That’s all you can do."
Though Trump has been pictured wearing face masks in public, he has also frequently shunned or mocked their use, and did so again during Tuesday's debate.
Referring to Biden, he said: “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask.
"He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen."
He added that he uses a mask himself "when needed".
Trump's own diagnoses came after it was confirmed that Hope Hicks, one of his closest advisors, had tested positive late on Wednesday, the day after the debate.
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