Trump’s shocking COVID admission
During what was supposed to be the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the US President has revealed he "possibly didn't" get tested for COVID-19 before their first clash - despite returning a positive result two days later.
Both Mr Trump and Mr Biden are holding competing, simultaneous town hall forums on two different TV networks - during which Mr Trump made the revelation.
Questioned by NBC's host Savanna Guthrie over whether he potentially bought coronavirus into the Ohio debate venue on September 29 - and testing positive on October 1 - Mr Trump said while he "probably" did a test, he couldn't actually remember.
"I don't know. I don't even remember," he said, pressed by Guthrie for an answer.
"Possibly I did, possibly I didn't.
"I probably did, and I took a test the day before and the day before, and I was always in great shape."
"There was no problem before," he said.
Guthrie asked the President, point blank, when he last tested negative for the virus 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. I had no problem before," he responded.
"After the debate, I guess a day or so (he didn't feel well).
"Thursday evening - maybe even late Thursday evening, I tested positive."
It's worth noting that Mr Trump was tested prior to his town hall and his medical team - which includes the most senior public health official on the White House's coronavirus task force, Dr Anthony Fauci - concluded with a high degree of confidence that he was no longer shedding the virus (meaning he's no longer considered infectious).
Two weeks on from his COVID-19 diagnosis - which is the reason why his second debate with Mr Biden was cancelled - Mr Trump told Guthrie he's no longer experiencing any symptoms.
"Nothing whatsoever. I'm great, I feel good," he said.
"You've received some treatments that are generally reserved for those with the most severe symptoms of the disease. How severe were your symptoms? In particular, did you have pneumonia?" Guthrie asked.
"Well, I'll tell you what happened. I didn't feel good, I didn't feel strong, I had a little bit of a temperature," the President replied.
"The doctors at the White House are fantastic, as you can imagine, and they really didn't want to take a chance, and they said let's go to the hospital.
"They gave me Regeneron and Redemsivir, both, and I just - all I know is, I felt good the following day."
Mr Trump has repeatedly spoken of his recovery from coronavirus - a disease that's killed close to a quarter of a million Americans - suggesting he might be "immune" and telling the public not to let the pandemic "dominate" them.
Returning to the White House on October 5 after being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, the President said in a video message that he'd "learned so much about coronavirus".
"And one thing's for certain, don't let it dominate you," he said.
"Don't let it take over your lives. Don't let that happen. We have the greatest country in the world. We're going back, we're going back to work. We're going to be out front.
"As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front, I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk, there's a danger, but that's OK."
During his first public interview after testing positive, Mr Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that he was able to beat the disease because he's in such great shape.
"I'm back because I am a perfect physical specimen and I'm extremely young. And so I'm lucky in that way," he said.
Originally published as Trump's shocking COVID admission