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On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump released a statement in response to a report from The Guardian, which claims an upcoming book by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows alleges that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 26, 2020.
According to The Guardian, Meadows writes that Trump later received a negative test result from a different test before a debate with Joe Biden on Sept. 29. Both candidates were required to test negative 72 hours before the event.
In a statement on Wednesday, Trump — who announced he had Covid on Oct. 2, 2020 and was later hospitalized — called the report “fake news.”
“In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate,” Trump said.
TODAY has not obtained a copy of the book and is unable to verify its contents.
In a town hall event in Miami with Savannah Guthrie on Oct. 15, 2020, Trump maintained that he didn't test positive until after the debate with Biden.
Both Trump, who was 74 at the time, and Biden, who was 77, were considered to be in the high-risk group for severe COVID-19 symptoms because no vaccines existed at that time.
Savannah asked Trump during the town hall if his first positive COVID-19 test was on Oct. 1, which was two days after the debate.
"Yeah," he responded.
Savannah also asked about the timing of the president's last negative test before the debate.
"Well, I test quite a bit, and I can tell you that before the debate which I thought it was a very good debate, and I felt fantastically," he said. "I had no problem before."
She also pressed him on whether he was tested for Covid on the day he was set to face Biden.
"It was afterwards," he said. "I don’t know. I don’t even remember. I test all of the time, but I can’t tell you this, after the debate, like I guess a day or so, I think it was Thursday evening maybe even late Thursday evening I tested positive. That is when I first found out about it."
Trump then added that the "probably" took a test both on the day of the debate and the day before the debate, and that he was "always in great shape."
"I was in great shape for the debate, and it was only after the debate like a period of time after the debate that I said that’s interesting and they took a test, and it tested positive," Trump said.
Meadows also writes in his book that the positive test on Sept. 26 came from a kit that was an old model and that Trump then tested negative with a "Binax system" test, according to The Guardian.
The president was aboard Air Force One on the way to a rally in Pennsylvania when he spoke to Meadows about both tests, according to the book.
The White House did not make any statement at the time indicating that Trump tested positive and then negative in the three days leading up to the debate.