President Trump is planning to host up to 2,000 people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.
The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd. More than 2,000 invitations went out for the event, according to one official.
The event, which was previously reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention in August.
Some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern that the event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier about a virus that has killed over 213,000 Americans.
The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio on Friday that there had been “a super spreader event in the White House,” noting that people had crowded together there without wearing masks.
Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey who had attended the Rose Garden event and had huddled with the president and his close advisers during debate preparations, said in a tweet that he had been released from the hospital on Saturday morning, one