President Donald Trump made his first public appearance on Saturday since returning from a three-day hospitalization for coronavirus, telling supporters at the White House that “through the power of American science and medicine, we will eradicate” the virus “once and for all.”
“Thank you all for the prayers,” Trump said from the Blue Room balcony at the White House to hundreds of invited guests at a campaign-style event on the South Lawn.
Trump arrived wearing a mask and removed it before speaking. Attendees appeared to be mostly masked but were standing close together with no suggestion of social distancing. Hand sanitizer stations and a medical tent were nearby.
Trump’s comments touched on several of his usual stump-speech topics, including suggestions of voter fraud. The remarks ran for about 18 minutes, much shorter than Trump’s typical freewheeling campaign speeches.
The appearance was designed to show the president — who declared he’s “feeling great” — has recovered from Covid-19 and is ready to resume work and his race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But the president appeared without certification from his doctors that he’s no longer contagious with the deadly virus, and despite the White House not releasing a formal update on his recovery since Thursday.
Close-up photographs on Saturday showed flesh-colored bandages on Trump’s right hand, potentially from where he received intravenous treatment after his Covid diagnosis.
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while arriving to speak from the Truman Balcony of the White House on Oct. 10.
Photographer: Erin Scott/Bloomberg
Trump’s event at the White House was criticized on social media for being a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of taxpayer money for political campaigning. As president, Trump is exempt