hundreds

Trump to host hundreds at White House Saturday, travel to Florida for rally Monday

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump will hold an in-person event at the White House on Saturday and a rally two days later in Florida, hosting his first public events since being hospitalized with Covid-19 and bucking criticism that the gatherings threaten to spread the virus further.

The South Lawn event on Saturday is expected to include a couple hundred guests, a person familiar with the matter said. The president will address the crowd from a distance, on the Blue Room balcony. On Monday, he plans to travel to Sanford, Florida, to address supporters, his campaign said in a statement.

The events come amid criticism that Trump’s decision to hold a crowded Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony — where he announced his pick of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court — helped spark an ongoing coronavirus outbreak at the White House that has sickened several staffers. While the White House had a testing regime in place to screen for virus cases, few guests wore masks and attendees mingled and sat in close proximity to one another both indoors and outdoors.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, earlier Friday called it a “super-spreader event.”

Trump will remain at the White House this weekend, people familiar with the matter said. He said on Thursday that he wanted to hold rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday.

Trump has been eager to return to the campaign trail as Democratic nominee Joe Biden widens his lead just weeks before the Nov. 3 election. Trump has released recorded video messages saying he’s well, and his physician said in a statement Wednesday that the president had been free of symptoms for the previous 24 hours.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “will be clear to go” on Saturday, when “he

Photos: Hundreds of supporters gather for Trump’s White House event

Ahead of President Trump’s first in-person event since his COVID-19 diagnosis, large crowds made their way to the White House’s grounds Saturday.

They gathered on the South Lawn, where Trump delivered a speech from the White House’s balcony. Hundreds attended the event.

Earlier today, the president’s supporters, donning “Make America Great Again” hats and blue “We The Free” t-shirts, rallied at The Ellipse, the park south of the White House lawn. Someattendees did not appear to be wearing masks.

The Trump campaign said all attendees would be given a temperature check and that the wearing of masks would be encouraged.

President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.DOUG MILLS/NYT
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.Doug Mills/NYT
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19. DOUG MILLS/NYT
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to  appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists.
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists. STEFANI REYNOLDS/NYT
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after being hospitalized for Covid-19, appeared briefly on Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of chanting supporters gathered at the White House.
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after

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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Rose Garden COVID ‘superspreader’ at White House drew hundreds

More than 200 people attended the Sept. 26 event at the White House Rose Garden where President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The festive function – which drew high-profile public officials, religious leaders and other dignitaries – has since been called a likely coronavirus “superspreader” after nearly a dozen people in attendance later tested positive for COVID-19.

Among attendees testing positive are Trump and first lady Melania Trump; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins; pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie; and freelance photographer Al Drago.

USA TODAY is attempting to identify every person at the event using publicly available photographs of that day. If you know of someone who is not on our list, please fill out this form.

We think we’ve identified the following people. The names in bold indicate those who have tested positive for coronavirus since the White House event. Seated on the left: 

1. Kate Todd, White House lawyer

2. Rebecca Cipollone, Pat Cipollone’s wife

3. Pat Cipollone, White House counsel

4. Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff

5. William Barr, U.S. attorney general

6. Tiffany Trump, president’s daughter

7. Karen Pence, second lady

8. Mike Pence, vice president

9. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

10. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

11. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho

12. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

13. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

14. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

15. Sharon Lee, wife of Sen. Mike Lee

16. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

23. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

24. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.

31. Alyssa Farah, White House communications director

32. Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary

33. Michael Farris, president and CEO, Alliance Defending Freedom

41.

Likely Rose Garden COVID ‘superspreader’ at White House drew hundreds

More than 200 people attended the Sept. 26 event at the White House Rose Garden where President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The festive function – which drew high-profile public officials, religious leaders and other dignitaries – has since been called a likely coronavirus “superspreader” after nearly a dozen people in attendance later tested positive for COVID-19.

Among attendees testing positive are Trump and first lady Melania Trump; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins; pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie; and freelance photographer Al Drago.

USA TODAY is attempting to identify every person at the event using publicly available photographs of that day. If you know of someone who is not on our list, please fill out this form.

We think we’ve identified the following people. The names in bold indicate those who have tested positive for coronavirus since the White House event. Seated on the left: 

1. Kate Todd, White House lawyer

2. Rebecca Cipollone, Pat Cipollone’s wife

3. Pat Cipollone, White House counsel

4. Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff

5. William Barr, U.S. attorney general

6. Tiffany Trump, president’s daughter

7. Karen Pence, second lady

8. Mike Pence, vice president

9. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

10. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

11. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho

12. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

13. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

14. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

15. Sharon Lee, wife of Sen. Mike Lee

16. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah

23. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

24. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.

31. Alyssa Farah, White House communications director

32. Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary

33. Michael Farris, president and CEO, Alliance Defending Freedom

41.