During the debate Tuesday, Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden faced off without masks for nearly two hours. They were spaced apart, but several members of Trump’s family in the audience were not. Members of Trump’s family removed their masks during the debate, despite the venue rules advising all audience members to keep them on.
Everyone at the debate venue had to be tested before entering, the city news release said. But Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate, said the candidates arrived too late to be tested by the debate organizers. Candidates were under an “honor system” to be tested before participating, he said during a Fox News interview Friday afternoon. The Cleveland Clinic, which hosted the debate and advised the Commission on Presidential Debates, confirmed that campaigns were responsible for testing candidates and those close to them.
The Cleveland Clinic said in a statement Friday that the 11 people were not allowed into the venue. They either worked on logistics or were members of the media, the statement said.
“Our thoughts are with the President, First Lady and all of our guests,” the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement to POLITICO. “As health advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site, we had requirements to maintain a safe environment that align with CDC guidelines — including social distancing, hand sanitizing, temperature checks and masking.”
Since his public diagnosis, Trump has been experiencing mild symptoms, including fatigue, the White House announced.
In addition to the president, first lady Melania Trump and Hope Hicks, one of the president’s top aides, have also tested positive. Biden and Wallace also said they had gotten tests after the debate. Biden’s campaign said his came back negative.
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