In a statement released Friday afternoon, the medical center that co-hosted the first of the three debates between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said guests are at “low risk of exposure” if they followed health protocols and precautionary measures that were in place.
“As health advisor to the Commission on Presidential Debates and the host site, we had several requirements to maintain a safe environment that align with CDC guidelines—including temperature checks, hand sanitizing, social distancing and masking,” said the Cleveland Clinic, which helped develop and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols for the debate in partnership with Case Western Reserve University.
The Clinic stressed that everyone that entered the debate hall tested negative for COVID-19 before being permitted inside, and that those traveling with both presidential candidates, including the candidates themselves, had tested negative, according to their respective campaigns.
“Based on what we know about the virus and the safety measures we had in place, we believe there is low risk of exposure to our guests,” the Clinic said, adding that while it is following up with the guests to address their questions and concerns, it is not believed to be necessary to test everyone again. If any guest still has a concern, the Clinic said it is willing to offer a retest.
The statement came as Trump on early Friday morning confirmed that he and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19, the disease the CCP (Chinese Communist party) virus causes. The two, alongside several members of the first family, traveled to Cleveland for the Tuesday debate.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence reported that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day,” Pence’s press secretary Devin O’Malley wrote on Twitter. “Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19. Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.”
Biden also confirmed that neither he nor his wife, Jill, have contracted the CCP virus, which emerged from Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
“I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID,” the former vice president wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.”