In a new interview, two former officials describe how Trump felt on the eve of the first presidential debate, two days before he was tested for a very common virus.
On Friday, CNN learned of documents that said Trump wanted to “perform a number of surgeries on his throat between September 8 and the end of the year.”
Trump adviser Roger Stone said the documents are old, but CNN found several docs that clearly do not describe his surgical plans.
And it’s not as though Trump has never mentioned the topic. In July 2015, he explained he was seeking more money from his fans to open a hospital in New York.
(What Trump is talking about is a late-stage surgery he talked about he would have once he was a wealthy doctor.)
On the day before he was scheduled to appear on stage with Hillary Clinton, ex-health aide Paul Bedard wrote that Trump was a likely candidate for the pneumonia that plagued him in September.
“Won’t say for sure, but the Trump Organization has arranged for checkups and additional vaccines by a son-in-law, Jared Kushner. He was on doctor’s orders to rest. There’s a chance he could soon be feeling better enough to resume work.”
He also reported that Trump tested positive for the virus that causes SARS on the day before the debate. He noted that Trump would need to take antimalarials within 48 hours. Bedard wrote that Trump had no prior history of the virus, which causes sudden respiratory distress and occasionally causes death.
But Trump’s candidacy may have played into the timing of his campaign’s most recent public airing of the issue.
Bedard reported that in a call with family members on Thursday, Bedard recalled Trump said, “I’m surprised that I don’t get it. Oh yeah, that’s corollary to coronavirus.”
Both Bedard and another Health and Human Services official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, spoke to CNN on Thursday.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller pushed back on the stories.
“Jason Miller has cited multiple sources that question the veracity of the scurrilous and false stories being peddled by anonymous sources who claim to have been in contact with him and his campaign sources,” Miller said. “Jared Kushner’s common-sense manner has been proven correct multiple times. Jared is looking to visit the president in the White House next week to have a detailed discussion.”
Toni English-Feldman, a research fellow at the Baker Institute, told CNN she found those findings of the virus “really surprising.”
“It’s unusual for it to be there,” she said. “It doesn’t exist here.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta reported from New York and Kate Snow reported from Washington. CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.