Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday's presidential debate in Cleveland, and other Fox News personalities who attended the event, plan to be tested for the coronavirus. President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus early Friday morning. In the afternoon, the White House said Trump was being taken to Walter Reed Medical Center for "the next few days."
Wallace appeared on Fox News' Outnumbered Friday, and said he will get tested. Other Fox News personalities who attended planned to be tested as well. "We are taking all necessary precautions, including testing, to ensure the safety of our anchors, reporters, and staff who attended the presidential commission debate in Cleveland or were in proximity of the White House within the last week," a source told Deadline. Wallace tested negative Monday, Fox News reported.
While on Outnumbered, Wallace told viewers to "wear the damn mask" and warned against following advice from Dr. Scott Atlas, who frequently appears on Fox News and is a top pandemic adviser to Trump. "I’m going to say something and, folks, I’m just trying to give you the truth," Wallace said, reports The New York Times. "Dr. Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist, is not an infectious disease expert — he has no training in this area at all. There are a number of top people on the president’s coronavirus task force who have had grave concerns about Scott Atlas and his scientific bona fides."
Wallace said he knew he would get "a lot of pushback" from his comments, but said viewers should listen to experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Brix. "Listen to the independent people who do not have a political ax to grind, and I frankly don’t think Scott Atlas is one of those people," Wallace said. The anchor also confirmed that Trump's family members took off their masks at the debate, violating rules from the Cleveland Clinic, which was overseeing health measures at the event. "A health person from the Cleveland Clinic came up to the first family when they were seated and offered them masks in case they didn’t have them, and they were waved away," Wallace said.
Wallace sat about 10 to 12 feet from Trump and Biden, who were about eight feet apart from each other on the stage. He also said he believed Trump already had the coronavirus at the debate. "They didn't arrive until Tuesday afternoon," Wallace recalled, reports Yahoo News. "So for them to get tested, there wouldn't have been enough time to have the test and have the debate at 9:00 that night. 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 people that came into the hall from the two campaigns."
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, said they tested negative for the coronavirus. Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, and Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, also tested negative. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office said she tested negative as well.