diagnosis

White House rally: Trump holds first public event since Covid diagnosis

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Media captionDonald Trump took off his mask as he prepared to address his supporters on the lawn below

Donald Trump has delivered a speech in front of cheering supporters at the White House in his first public appearance since being hospitalised.

The event was officially a “peaceful protest”, but looked, critics said, much like a Trump campaign rally.

The president, who says he is no longer taking medicines against Covid-19, told the crowd he was “feeling great”.

The White House has not provided an update on the president’s health since Thursday.

It is unclear whether the president remains contagious following his three-day hospital stay with Covid-19.

His rival in next month’s presidential election, Joe Biden, has been campaigning in Pennsylvania. He said his “heart goes out” to all those families who have lost someone they love to coronavirus.

Polling suggests Mr Biden has a single-digit lead over Mr Trump and an ABC News/Ipsos poll found that just 35% of Americans approved of how Mr Trump has handled the coronavirus crisis.

More than 210,000 Americans are known to have died of Covid-19.

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What did Mr Trump say at the White House event?

Saturday’s White House gathering was partly organised by a foundation called “Blexit”, which aims to get black and Latino voters to support the Republican party.

The president, who took off his mask when he started to speak, railed against Mr Biden, describing the Democrat’s programme as “beyond socialism – Communist, that’s about right”. Mr Biden is generally considered to be a moderate Democrat.

Mr Trump repeated his previous assertion that he had done more for the black community than any president since Abraham Lincoln – a

Trump’s first public address since COVID-19 diagnosis had hallmarks of a campaign event at the White House

President Trump’s first public appearance since he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis appeared to be an unofficial rally at the White House. On Saturday, Mr. Trump addressed hundreds of supporters closely gathered and dressed in Trump campaign gear, repeating unfounded claims of election fraud, attacking Democratic leaders, and falsely claiming that Joe Biden is a socialist. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the event was an “official” event, and “the campaign is not involved in this.” Anyone in attendance was invited by the White House, Deere said.

While using the White House for a partisan political event is a violation of the Hatch Act, Deere insisted Saturday’s event had “no Hatch Act implications” because it was run by the White House and not the campaign. 

The Hatch Act does not apply to the president or vice president, but does apply to any other executive branch officials who are involved. The president has been accused of repeatedly ignoring the act, most recently during the Republican National Convention. 

“This is another example I think of the myriad ways in which Donald Trump breaks the rules, and over time, people stop getting agitated about it because he breaks the rules all the time,” Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump told CBSN’s Lana Zak following the event. “Essentially, he is using taxpayer money to bolster his campaign.” 

The address was made from the balcony overlooking the South Lawn, where Candace Owens’ BLEXIT Foundation was hosting a pro-police rally. Mr. Trump specifically addressed the crowd, telling them their shirts are “beautiful” and that he wants to “put one of them on instead of this white shirt.”

“We have to have law and order,” Mr. Trump said. “I want to thank the BLEXIT Foundation for organizing this event, and especially your two founders, two friends of mine,

Trump Holds Event at White House a Week After Coronavirus Diagnosis

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transcript

transcript

Trump Holds Event at White House a Week After Coronavirus Diagnosis

President Trump said he was “feeling great” as he spoke from a balcony to several hundred supporters on the South Lawn of the White House in his first public event since testing positive for the virus.

“I’m feeling great. I don’t know about you, How’s everyone feeling? [cheers] Good? And I’m honored to welcome — we call this a ‘peaceful protest’ — to the White House, in support of the incredible men and women of law enforcement and all of the people that worked so well with us. And I have to tell you, our Black community, our Hispanic community: Thank you very much. But before going any further, I want to thank all of you for your prayers. I know you’ve been praying, and I was in that hospital. I was watching down over so many people. And I went out to say ‘Hello’ to those people, and I took a little heat for it, but I’d do it again, let me tell you, I’d do it again. And on behalf of myself and the first lady it just has been really an incredible outpouring.”

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The list of Democrats ready to fight President Trump for the keys to the White House is long. Learn more about who they are and the issues they care about.

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Trump rallies supporters at White House in first event since COVID-19 diagnosis

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Nine people who attended Trump rally in Minnesota contracted coronavirus Schiff: If Trump wanted more infections ‘would he be doing anything different?’ MORE rallied his supporters at the White House Saturday in the first public event he’s held since he was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

In an event the White House dubbed a “peaceful protest” on “law & order,” the president repeated some of his usual talking points in a speech that lasted just over 15 minutes, touting his support for law enforcement and hammering Democrats over nationwide protests over systemic racism and police brutality. 

“The homes and churches and businesses of Black and Hispanic Americans have been looted, you know that, they’ve been vandalized and burned by leftwing fanatics. Total bad people. They know what they’re doing. Yet Biden likes to call them ‘peaceful protesters.,’” he added, referring to Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Sanders endorses more than 150 down-ballot Democrats Debate commission cancels Oct. 15 Trump-Biden debate MORE

Trump has sought to woo Black and Hispanic voters away from Biden this election cycle. The former vice president has polled extremely well with Black Americans both in the Democratic primary and in the polls for the Nov. 3 election, though marginal decreases could impact his standing in some key swing states.

The speaking event was organized by conservative activist Candace Owens, who leads the BLEXIT movement and has centered her activism around pushing voters of color to leave the Democratic Party.

Trump has previously railed against nationwide unrest sparked after the police killing in late May of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In addition, the police killings of several

Trump Hosts Hundreds in First White House Event Since COVID-19 Diagnosis

Donald Trump hosted hundreds of people outside the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since contracting COVID-19—but his administration wouldn’t say whether he’s still infected with the virus.

“We gotta vote these people into oblivion,” Trump told the crowd of supporters in a brief 18 minute speech from a White House balcony.

The in-person event marked Trump’s return to the campaign spotlight after announcing his COVID-19 diagnosis on Oct. 2 and being hospitalized at Maryland’s Walter Reed hospital. Trump appeared on several conservative media outlets, and plans to hold rallies in Florida on Monday, Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Iowa on Wednesday.

Earlier on Saturday, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah refused to tell reporters whether Trump is virus-free.

The rally crowd was set back from the balcony where Trump appeared. Attendees had their temperatures checked and were told to wear masks, according to the White House.

The event was organized by right-wing personality Candace Owens and her Blexit group, which urges Black voters to “exit” the Democratic Party.

The White House dubbed the event a “peaceful protest for law & order.” Pro-Trump figures have recently adopted the “peaceful protest” terminology as a jab at Black Lives Matter protests held during the pandemic, claiming that MAGA “protests” are allowed in the face of COVID-19 restrictions on gathering size.

Trump mostly repeated his usual rally lines in his balcony appearance, touting the economy and warning that “we will never allow our country to become a socialist nation.” The crowd cheered, chanting “four more years” and “we love you.”

“I love you too,” Trump said, before turning back into the White House.

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