Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump: ‘I condemn all white supremacists’ McConnell: Next Trump-Biden debate should be more respectful Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference MORE said President TrumpDonald John TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE did not arrive in Cleveland ahead of the first presidential debate in time to get tested in Ohio before the event took place.
Wallace, who served as the moderator for the event, said the president “didn’t arrive until Tuesday afternoon” in Cleveland to face off against Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Poll: Biden notches 7-point lead ahead of Trump in New Hampshire Jim Carrey to make his SNL debut as Joe Biden this week MORE. The time of the debate was Tuesday at 9 p.m.
The timing of the arrival did not allow enough time for the president to be tested for the virus there and receive a result, according to the anchor.
“The difference was I arrived on Sunday, you arrived on Monday,” Wallace told fellow Fox News colleague Bill Hemmer.
“[The Trump family] 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. There was an honor system when it came to the people that came into the hall from the two campaigns.”
The interview with Hemmer on Friday afternoon came after President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE were diagnosed with the coronavirus early Friday morning. The White House physician said that Trump was experiencing fatigue and mild symptoms.
The president was then taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center unannounced early Friday evening “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the White House.
Hemmer noted that the Cleveland Clinic, which hosted the event, said “the candidates themselves … had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns. They weren’t tested by the clinic based on that statement, Chris. And to me, that sounds like an honor system.”
The news comes as several notable GOP members and lawmakers have tested positive since Thursday, including senior adviser Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Trump aide Hope Hicks tests positive for COVID-19 MORE, Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeComey defends FBI Russia probe from GOP criticism Supreme Court nominee gives no clues in GOP meeting Barrett to sit with McConnell and other GOP senators in back-to-back meetings MORE (R-Utah) and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Team Trump on defense over president’s comments on white supremacy Trump voices opposition to debate changes RNC, Trump campaign push back on changing debate rules MORE.
Trump will be undergoing testing at Walter Reed and has also been administered a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron Pharmaceutical’s antibody cocktail, according to the White House physician.
The therapy is still in the human trials phase of testing, but is seen as one of the most promising coronavirus treatments.