alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Trump arrived too late to be tested before debate -- so host relied on 'honor system': report

Trump arrived too late to be tested before debate -- so host relied on 'honor system': report
Screenshot from First Presidential Debate
‘Classic projection’: Mary Trump says the president was triggered when Biden called his policy ‘not smart’

President Donald Trump was not tested for coronavirus before entering the facility where he spent approximately two hours, including the 90-minute debate with former vice president Joe Biden.

Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Chris Wallace revealed an extraordinary breakdown in security, potentially putting Joe Biden and everyone else at risk.

"The clinic had a rule you wear a mask inside," Hemmer explained, according to a trranscript posted by The Daily Beast's Andrew Kirell. "That was stated clearly. If you look at the statement today, I'll read a key line: 'Individuals traveling with both candidates including the candidates themselves had been tested and tested negative by their respective campaigns.' They weren't tested by the Clinic based on the statement, Chris, and to me that sounds like an honor system."

"Well, they couldn't be tested by the Clinic," Wallace replied, referring to the Cleveland Clinic, which hosted the debate.

"You were tested. I was tested," said Hemmer.

"I understand that, Bill, but the difference was I arrived on Sunday, you arrived on Monday. They 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 nine o'clock that night," Wallace continued.

"They didn't show up until 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon. Yeah, there was an honor system when it came to the people that came into the hall from the two campaigns."

Inside the debate hall all attendees except participants were required to wear masks throughout the debate. Everyone on the Biden side did, almost everyone on the Trump side did not. The Cleveland Clinic reportedly asked but the Trump camp ignored the requests.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close