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Monday, December 09, 2019

White House Has Lied For Months About COVID Testing Of Trump

Photo by fernandozhiminaicela/ Pixabay

Questions continue to swirl around the timeline of Donald Trump's infection with the coronavirus. The White House continues to refuse to respond to questions about when Trump's last negative coronavirus test was — information that could help with contact tracing and pinpointing the source of the outbreak that is still spreading among members of the Trump administration and other government and military officials.

But even if the White House did release the information, it would be hard to know whether it's true, as the White House has lied about Trump's coronavirus testing before.

Back in July, Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's serially lying press secretary, said he was tested "multiple times a day" for the virus.

But Trump himself contradicted McEnany, saying he was tested maybe every two or three days.

So far, there's been no way of knowing whether what either of them said was true.

The testing regimen is more important than ever now that Trump has tested positive for the virus two days after appearing on the debate stage with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump received his first positive result from a rapid test before he called in to Fox News last Thursday to disclose that he had been exposed to the virus by White House aide Hope Hicks. Trump neglected to disclose that information.

The timing of Trump's last negative test is important: He was supposed to have been tested for the virus before taking the debate stage in Ohio last week.

But the White House won't say when that last negative test result was obtained, calling into question whether he was tested at all before the debate and whether his campaign lied about it to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Instead, the White House has given excuses.

On Sunday, McEnany refused to provide a timeline of Trump's coronavirus tests.

"Yeah, I'm not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president is tested," McEnany said, one day before she tested positive for the virus herself. "He's tested regularly, and the first positive test he's received was Thursday after he returned from Bedminster."

White House physician Sean Conley said Monday that he wouldn't release the date of Trump's last negative test because he didn't want to "go backwards."

And on Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern used the same excuse in refusing to say when Trump's last negative test was.

"I don't know when he last tested negative," Morgenstern said. "We're not asking to go back through a bunch of records and look backwards."

Observers have slammed the White House for its refusal to share the information. "The White House refuses to answer as to when the president last tested negative. This isn't just an issue of the public's right to know, it's also a public health issue given that the president is contagious," CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted. "What possible justification is there for not sharing this info?"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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Former President Donald Trump at an American military cemetery near Paris in 2018

AP Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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