Trump delivered remarks on his support for law enforcement from the balcony of the Blue Room to a friendly crowd. The president wore a mask as he stepped out for the speech, but removed it to make his remarks. He received an enthusiastic response from his supporters.
“I feel great,” said Trump, who said he was grateful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered.
Trump is also preparing for a rally in Florida on Monday and campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania later in the week.
The president addressed the large crowd even as the White House refuses to declare it no longer contagious and against the advice of public health officials.
The White House insisted the South Lawn event was an official event, not a campaign rally. But Trump used the address to splurge against the Democratic ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris.
“I think we’re going to overwhelm them so much,” he said.
Trump appeared healthy, but perhaps a little hoarse, during the 18-minute speech that aimed to send the message that he is back and ready to resume his battle for re-election. Prior to the speech, White House officials said they had no information to release that the president had been tested for COVID-19, meaning he made his first public appearance without the White House is verifying that it is no longer contagious.
Security was tightened around the White House ahead of the event, which has been called a “peaceful protest for law and order”. Police and Secret Service closed surrounding streets to vehicles and closed Lafayette Square, the park near the White House that has long been a gathering place for public protest.
As questions persist over his health – and Democratic opponent Joe Biden ramps up his own campaign – Trump also planned to leave the Washington area on Monday for the first time since being hospitalized for a campaign rally in Sanford , in Florida. He is also due to host campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania next week and is stepping up his radio and television appearances with conservative interviewers, hoping to make up for lost time with just over three weeks. before Election Day and millions of people already voting.
Biden’s campaign said he tested negative again on Saturday for COVID-19. Biden was potentially exposed to the coronavirus during his Sept. 29 debate with Trump, who announced his positive diagnosis just 48 hours after the debate.
The president has not been seen in public – except in videos produced by the White House – since his return five days ago from the military hospital where he received experimental treatments for the coronavirus.
Most of the spectators gathered for his speech on supporting law enforcement wore masks, but there was little social distancing.
Saturday’s speech comes two weeks after his Rose Garden event which was called a “super-broadcaster” for the virus. More than two dozen people linked to the White House have contracted COVID-19 since the President’s September 26 event announcing Justice Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court candidate.
On Saturdays, all participants are required to bring or will be provided with masks, and will also be subject to temperature checks and asked to complete a short questionnaire. Participants will be strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines, which include wearing masks and social distancing.
Trump’s Monday event in Sanford, Florida, what he described as a “BIG RALLY,” was originally scheduled to be held on October 2, the day after he tested positive. Ahead of his Saturday event, Trump used Twitter to share articles on the problems with mail-in ballots in New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. Trump has repeatedly said baselessly that universal postal voting is rife with widespread fraud.
Trump’s return to public activity came as Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease specialist, again warned the White House to avoid large-scale gatherings of people without masks.
He said of the Barrett event in an interview with The Associated Press: “I was not surprised to see a large-scale event given the circumstances. It means “a crowded and gathered place, without a mask. It is not surprising to see an epidemic, ”he said.
The District of Columbia virus restrictions prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people, although this rule has not been strictly enforced. Masks are mandatory outdoors for most people, but regulations do not apply on federal lands and Trump’s White House has blatantly flouted them for months.
Confined to the White House as he recovers, Trump has spent much of the last few days touring friendly conservative media, calling Fox News host Sean Hannity Thursday night and spending two hours live with the Radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday in what his campaign called a “radio rally.”
Holding the court for his re-election battle, his fight against the coronavirus, and relaunched negotiations with Democrats to pass an economic stimulus bill, Trump has made a direct appeal to his loyal base of supporters, which he needs to thrive. go to the polls en masse.
In a Friday night interview on the Fox Tucker Carlson show, Trump was asked if he had been retested for COVID-19. “I was retested, and I haven’t even found any numbers or anything yet. But I’ve been retested and I know I’m either at the bottom of the ladder or free, ”he said.
White House officials, however, declined to respond when Trump was last tested negative for the virus or to release detailed information about lung scans taken while Trump was hospitalized.
The president’s aides insist it is safe for Trump to resume his usual activities, including the campaign. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ask those infected to wait at least 10 days after symptoms appear, Fauci noted in the AP interview. This appearance for Trump took place on October 1, according to his doctors.
The doctor of the President of the White House, Cmdr of the Navy. Sean Conley, added that Trump showed no evidence of his disease progression or adverse reactions to the aggressive treatment he received.
While reports of reinfection in COVID-19 victims are rare, the CDC recommends that even people recovering from the disease continue to wear masks, stay at bay and take other precautions. It was not clear whether Trump, who has refused to wear a mask in most contexts, would abide by this directive as he resumes his campaign.