"I hope that cough is not anything bad," Martha MacCallum told him

By Virginia Chamlee
October 06, 2020 01:31 PM
Martha MacCallum (left), Rudy Giuliani
| Credit: Fox News

In what seems to have been only a case of terrible timing, Rudy Giuliani coughed through an interview on Fox News' The Story With Martha MacCallum while discussing Donald Trump's recent COVID-19 diagnosis and his handling of the pandemic.

"I don't wear masks as much as probably I should," Giuliani told Martha MacCallum at one point, maintaining that he wasn't sick yet.

Trump's personal attorney and former New York City mayor began coughing near the end of the segment, which focused on the president's illness and the virus.

While Giuliani said Trump's "symptoms kind of ended by Friday night," he was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that same day amid a conflicting picture of his health.

The president's doctors later conceded he'd had a fever and two episodes of low oxygen but improved enough to return home to finish treatment on Monday.

Giuliani's segment Monday night then shifted to how the upcoming presidential debates would change in light of Trump's recent diagnosis.

In remarks to reporters on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he was still willing to face Trump in a debate scheduled for Oct. 15, provided experts said it was safe. (The vice presidential debate on Wednesday will include additional safety measures, organizers have said.)

"When I hear that ... Joe is going to listen to the experts ... the experts aren't always right," Giuliani told MacCallum in his Fox News interview. "Nobody elected the experts."

"There are no experts on governing," Giuliani said, touting Trump's decisions versus Biden.

When MacCallum pointed out that polls show many believe it's Trump that has not taken the coronavirus pandemic seriously, Giuliani claimed the public is simply "frightened" of the virus, which has killed more than 200,000 people.

While treatments and a vaccine are being developed, health experts have urged steps like social distancing and wearing a mask around other people, which Trump has repeatedly ignored.

Giuliani claimed that wearing a mask when people are 20 or 30 feet away, as he said Biden has done, is merely a "a political statement to scare people."

"Just to play devil's advocate, he'd probably say, 'Well ... I haven't gotten COVID, and the president did and he's not a big fan of wearing masks,' " MacCallum interjected.

"And I haven't either," Giuliani said. "And I don't wear masks as much as probably I should. And I haven't gotten COVID either."

Giuliani is currently quarantining in New York, according to a spokesperson, who told reporters last Friday that Giuliani would be getting tested for COVID-19. He tested negative later that day but has continued to be tested since, as it can take days for the virus to yield a positive test result.

"I actually got [a COVID-19 test] about two hours ago ... I  got one of those 'all the way in the back-of-the-nose' tests," Giuliani told MacCallum on Monday.

He participated in President Trump's debate prep, along with several others who have since tested positive for the contagious virus.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who himself tested positive last week, told ABC News that no one wore masks during preparation for the debate.

During Monday's interview, MacCallum referenced Giuliani's cough as she ended the Monday interview, telling him, "I hope that cough is not anything bad. You're waiting for your test to come back, so we hope you'll be healthy and well."

"I hope so, too," said Giuliani. "I'll let you know tomorrow!"

He said Tuesday morning on Fox News he had tested negative, offering his prayers for those around the president who were sick. He also marveled at how he was not infected, given his proximity to others who were: "I'm just lucky. I can't figure it out."

"I don't want to get it," he said.