One might initially think the US President meant he’d actually become infected with coronavirus.
Alas, Mr Trump’s roundabout answer meant that he’d actually tested negative for the disease, which has infected more than 1.6 million Americans and killed more than 95,000.
“I tested very positively, in another sense, this morning,” the President said.
“I tested positively toward negative, right? So, no, I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative. But that’s the way of saying positively for the negative.”
Confused? Us too.
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US President @realDonaldTrump on his most-recent coronavirus test: "I tested very positively, in another sense, this morning. I tested positively toward negative, right?" https://t.co/lBQnJkaCjq #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/xREIXCXEFT
Mr Trump’s question came in response to being asked by a reporter whether he was still taking hydroxychloroquine as part of his personal preventive regimen against COVID-19.
Earlier this week, he said he had started taking the “miracle drug” – commonly used at low doses to help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus – “a couple of weeks ago”, despite warnings from doctors.
“A lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out,” he told reporters at the White House on Monday.
“And you’d be surprised at how many people have taken it, especially the frontline workers, before you catch it. The frontline workers, many many are taking it.
“I happen to be taking it. I happen to be taking it. I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah.”
After today’s comments that he’d tested “positively toward negative” Mr Trump said he had at least one day left on a two-week course of the antimalarial drug, having indicated on Wednesday he would finish taking the medication “in a day or two”.
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Fox News host Neil Cavuto warned viewers not to follow the President’s example as it could have deadly consequences.
“If you are in a risky population here, and you are taking this as a preventive treatment to ward off the virus – or, in a worst-case scenario you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you,” he said.
“I cannot stress this enough. This will kill you.”
While he’s yet to take an antibody test – which could determine whether he’s previously had the virus – Mr Trump announced earlier this month that he and his inner circle are tested for COVID-19 daily.
The 73-year-old also raised eyebrows with comments that the USA’s status as the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world was “a good thing”.
“It’s a good thing because it means our testing is much better, so if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people we would have far fewer cases,” he said.
“So I view it as a badge of honour, really it’s a badge of honour.”