WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump on Saturday made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus. The White House has refused to declare that he is no longer contagious, and the gathering of hundreds of people on the South Lawn went ahead despite the guidance of public health officials.
Trump delivered an address on his support for law enforcement from the Blue Room balcony to a friendly crowd. The president wore a mask as he walked out for the speech but took it off to make his remarks. He received an enthusiastic response from his supporters.
“I’m feeling great,” said Trump, who said he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered.
Trump is also priming for a Florida rally 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 that he is no longer contagious and against the guidance of public health officials.
The White House insisted the event on the South Lawn was an official event and not a campaign rally. But Trump used the address to make broadsides against the Democratic ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.
“I think we’re gonna swamp them by so much,” he said.
Trump appeared healthy, though perhaps a little hoarse, during the 18-minute speech that was intended to send the message that he’s back and ready to resume his battle for reelection.
Before the speech, White House officials said they had no information to release on whether the president was tested for COVID-19, meaning he made his first public appearance without the White House verifying that he’s no longer contagious.
Biden leads Trump by 11 percentage points nationally, 53 percent to 42 percent, according to an average of national polls since Sept. 16. Biden’s margin is smaller in key states: eight points in Pennsylvania, seven in Wisconsin and Michigan, and three in Arizona and Florida.
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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 wouldbe given a temperature check and that the wearing of masks wouldbe encouraged.
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
Nine days after testing positive for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump was readying to host hundreds of partisans at the White House on Saturday, in hopes of relaunching his struggling campaign less than four weeks from Election Day.
Trump has declared he is feeling “really good” — but doubts linger over his health, with the president’s doctor appearing more concerned about pleasing his star patient than communicating transparently with the public.
“Right now I’m medication-free, I’m not taking any medications as of, you know, probably eight hours ago,” Trump told Fox News on Friday night, the first on-camera interview since his diagnosis and three-night hospitalization.
Trump plans to hold a rally Monday in the critical swing state of Florida — a decision slammed as “reckless” by his election rival Joe Biden, in light of concerns the president might still be contagious.
Undeterred, the Trump campaign announced two more rallies next week — in battleground Pennsylvania Tuesday and in Iowa on Wednesday.
And on Saturday dozens of Trump supporters with red “MAGA” heads were massing eagerly outside the White House to listen to an outdoor address expected to focus on law enforcement in Black communities.
Donald Trump returned to the White House on October 5, 2020 after spending three nights at Walter Reed military hospitalPhoto: AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM
“Trump is the kind of president, that if he is standing to defend a certain cause, he defends it,” said one of them, a US servicemember of Mexican descent named Daniel, who said he wanted to show his support for the police.
For months, taking their cue from a president who mostly shunned, and at times mocked, the wearing of masks, White House advisors were rarely seen masked inside the West Wing.
Since Trump and his wife Melania tested positive, the