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White House continues the world's most obvious cover-up

White House continues the world's most obvious cover-up
President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House and boards Marine One Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, en route to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

My goodness, the White House really, really doesn't want the public to know when Donald Trump last tested negative for COVID-19. Reporters once again tried to pin down an official—in this case White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah—on this question, and once again got an impressive display of dodging and evading in response.

"I can't reveal that at this time," Farah answered to a direct question about the date of Trump's last negative. "Doctors would like to keep it private." [Here pause to scoff.]

Pool reporter Noah Robertson reports that Farah's responses to follow-ups included "My understanding is that it's his private medical history" and "I'm happy to raise that to the doctors, but my understanding is that we're not making it public."

This isn't about the doctors. This is about Trump having something to hide—quite possibly that Trump knew he was positive, or at least that he had been exposed, before the debate. Presidents traditionally give out more health information than average people because they understand that it's in the public interest to know whether the leader of the country is healthy, and because part of what you trade for power is the responsibility to be transparent.

But Trump is extremely afraid to have information about his health become public even though, in this case, we know his diagnosis. It's not like reporters are digging around to find out whether he has syphilis and if so, where he contracted it. They just want to know 1) a reliable timeline for the disease he has publicly talked about having and 2) a little bit more about how much the White House had previously been lying to the public about how often Trump was being tested for the coronavirus. And, okay, whether Trump knowingly debated and campaigned while infectious. That too.

Trump's doctor is being evasive, but it's not that the doctor has some deep medical reason for wishing to keep the date of Trump's last negative test a secret. It's that Trump, who made doctors sign nondisclosure agreements during his very weird trip to Walter Reed in November 2019, is hiding something and his doctor is following Trump's wishes. It's one of the most obvious cover-ups in history, but the White House is sticking with it.

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