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Trump refuses to say during NBC town hall whether he was tested before the debate

Top moments from Trump's presidential town hall
Trump participated in a town hall event on NBC News opposite a similar event with Joe Biden on ABC.

President Trump on Thursday night refused to say whether he was tested for coronavirus on the day of his debate with former vice president Joe Biden.

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie during a town hall event repeatedly pressed Trump on the date of his last negative test, an issue that arose after he attended multiple events in the days before he began showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Trump evaded the question multiple times, telling Guthrie he “probably” took a test on the day of the debate and that he is tested frequently.

“You don’t know if you took a test the day of the debate?” she asked.

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“Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,” Trump responded. “Sometime after the debate, I tested positive.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates rules specified that both candidates would take a test ahead of the debate to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But Trump has refused to disclose the date of his last negative test prior to his announcement early in the morning of Oct. 2 that he had tested positive.

Trump also defended himself as he was asked about the decision to hold an indoor event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, which has been called a super-spreader event after several attendees contracted COVID-19.

He said he is “good” with masks but told Guthrie that he heard of people who still became sick despite wearing masks.

“People with masks are catching it all the time,” Trump said.

Infectious disease specialists say masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19 from potentially infected people.

Trump is participating in a town hall event on NBC News opposite a similar event with Joe Biden on ABC after he refused to participate in a virtual debate following his illness.

Top moments from Biden's presidential town hall
Joe Biden answered questions from voters during his town hall forum at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Thursday night.



Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.