Biden Announces Negative COVID Test Ahead Of Debate. Trump Stays Mum.

The stage for the final Presidential debate of the US 2020 Presidential elections is prepared at Belmont University on October 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. - US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger ... The stage for the final Presidential debate of the US 2020 Presidential elections is prepared at Belmont University on October 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. - US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden head to Nashville for their second and final on-stage clash of the campaign. After the constant interruptions of the last debate, each candidate will have their microphone cut for two minutes to allow their rival to respond to the moderator's questions before open debate. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Late update: The White House said Trump tested negative for COVID-19 while on his way to the debate.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced on Thursday morning that he has tested negative for COVID-19 ahead of his final debate with President Donald Trump before the Nov. 3 election. 

The Biden campaign said that the candidate underwent PCR testing for coronavirus on Thursday and no virus was detected.

Rules put in place by the Commission on Presidential Debates requires that both candidates test negative for COVID-19 before taking the debate stage in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday night — although President Trump has yet to announce a recent negative test.

The Associated Press reported that the White House was asked Thursday morning whether Trump had been tested for coronavirus in preparation for the debate. Administration officials have shied away from discussing the topic amid scrutiny that the President might have either failed to test for coronavirus ahead of the first debate as required, or had wittingly gone into the debate with knowledge of a possible infection after what public health experts have called a “super-spreader event” at the White House days before to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The AP reported that the White House did not say whether Trump had been tested again ahead of the debate.

On Monday, when a reporter in Arizona asked the President if he would be taking a test before Thursday’s debate, Trump said, “I would have no problem with it.”

“I’m totally free,” Trump said, referring to test results released by the White House physician last week indicating he tested negative for the virus on consecutive days.

During an NBC town hall last week, Trump would not say when he was tested for coronavirus ahead of the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, during which many of his family members and close associates refused to wear masks in the debate hall. The President announced just two days later that he had contracted the coronavirus. 

“Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,” Trump told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie last week when asked if he took a test on the day of his first face-off with Biden in Cleveland, Ohio.

Commission on Presidential Debates Co-Chair Frank Fahrenkopf said during an interview Thursday that in spite of the commission’s rule requiring a negative COVID-19 test ahead of the debate that he “can’t answer” whether or not proof of the test would be required of each candidate ahead of the contest. 

“I’m not a doctor so I don’t get into that. I leave it to the experts,” he told MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson when asked how the CPD would enforce its COVID-19 testing rules for the candidates.

“I don’t know what would happen,” Fahrenkopf added, when pressed on the possibility of President Trump refusing to take or report results of a COVID-19 test.

Amid his recovery from COVID-19, Trump has insisted he is “immune” to coronavirus, even though scientific evidence has not supported the validity of such a claim.

“I’m immune, they say. They say if you’ve had it, you are immune,” Trump insisted on Monday.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Trump campaign: ‘We have too much testing. Too many tests!’

  2. Hope they’re stocked up on thorazine darts for Jabber the Nutt…

  3. If the CPD allows Trump onto the premises without proof of a negative PCR test within the last 24 hours, it needs to be decommissioned.

  4. Regardless of whether he’s tested he’s still diseased. He’s always been diseased.

  5. Does anyone really believe that the orange man-toddler is permitting someone to stuff a six inch cotton swap up his nose and rummage it around in his upper sinuses? On a daily basis?

    He’s not getting tested. He has not been getting tested. His “doctors’” double-speak on “has not tested positive” does not mean he tested negative.

Continue the discussion at

67 more replies


Avatar for douglashh Avatar for matthew1961 Avatar for mymy Avatar for manhattan123 Avatar for DuckmanGR Avatar for tao Avatar for pine Avatar for jinnj Avatar for docd Avatar for edhedh Avatar for ljb860 Avatar for anthonyab Avatar for castor_troy Avatar for somethinghappened Avatar for uneducated Avatar for brian512 Avatar for maximus Avatar for kenga Avatar for occamscoin Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for dicktater Avatar for nydan516 Avatar for Mingus Avatar for Scoutmom

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: