Donald Trump took off his mask and told the crowd of hundreds of fans ‘I’m feeling great’ and the coronavirus is ‘disappearing’ in his first public event at the White House since both his COVID diagnosis and the Rose Garden ‘superspreader’ event.
The president spoke for just 17 minutes at his much-anticipated return to re-election campaigning which was organized in partnership with Candace Owens’ Blexit group, a campaign urging black Americans to shift from Democrats to Republicans.
During the unusually short speech from Trump he laid into ‘sleepy Joe’ and claimed he has achieved great things for black communities across America.
This marks the first major event at the White House since the ‘superspreader’ event in the Rose Garden on September 26 where Trump unveiled Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick and at least nine attendees later tested positive for the virus.
Trump vowed to get back to business as usual after being hospitalized last week for COVID-19, in defiance of social distancing and quarantine rules.
Trump took off his mask and told the crowd of hundreds of fans ‘I’m feeling great’ in his first public event at the White House since his COVID diagnosis
Trump walked out onto the White House balcony to the crowd of around 400 people Saturday as the Marine Band played ‘Hail to the Chief’
The president tested positive for the deadly virus last Thursday.
Medical experts think viral shedding continues for about 10 days after symptoms start in mild to moderate cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infected individuals are also told to quarantine for 14 days after testing positive.
Saturday marks only day nine since Trump was diagnosed with the virus.
The Trump campaign also announced Saturday the president will hold two more rallies in Pennsylvania and Iowa next week – on top of an event already planned for Monday in Florida.
Trump walked out onto the White House Blue Room balcony to the crowd of around 400 people Saturday as the Marine Band played ‘Hail to the Chief’.
He was sporting a face mask that he quickly removed as the crowd cheered and chanted ‘USA! USA!’
The crowd of around 400 supporters donned Blexit DC Back the Blue t-shirts and MAGA caps and face masks as they descended on the White House in their droves to see the president hold his first event since his diagnosis.
While most were seen wearing masks in the grounds of the White House, masks were nowhere in sight among the very same crowd of people as they held a Blexit rally at The Ellipse just before the main event.
The president spoke for just 17 minutes at his much-anticipated return to re-election campaigning which was organized in partnership with Candace Owens’ Blexit group, a campaign urging black Americans to shift from Democrats to Republicans
During the unusually short speech from Trump he laid into ‘sleepy Joe’ and claimed he has achieved great things for black communities across America
The crowd of around 400 supporters donned Blexit DC Back the Blue t-shirts and MAGA caps and face masks as they descended on the White House in their droves to see the president hold his first event since his diagnosis
While most were seen wearing masks in the grounds of the White House, masks were nowhere in sight among the very same crowd of people as they held a Blexit rally at The Ellipse just before the main event
Trump congratulated his record for supporting the black community saying he has ‘done the most for the black community since Abraham Lincoln’ and said black Americans need to support law enforcement
There was also no social distancing on the South Lawn. Much of the crowd was white, despite the focus of the event to win over the black community.
Trump told the crowd he was ‘feeling great’ after his four-day stint in the hospital and cocktail of experimental drugs for his COVID-19 diagnosis.
‘I’m feeling great… We’re starting very big with our rallies… because we cannot allow our country to become a socialist country,’ he said.
Trump said coronavirus is ‘disappearing’, despite his own diagnosis last week and as more than 210,000 Americans have been killed and 7.6 million infected.
He said a coronavirus vaccine would be ‘out very soon’ and he would ‘eradicate the China virus very soon’ as he hit out at ‘unscientific lockdowns’ put in place to slow the spread of the virus.
‘Our opponents will crush the comeback with unscientific lockdowns,’ he blasted.
He branded his event a ‘peaceful protest’ in a thinly-veiled jibe at Black Lives Matter protesters who have gathered nationwide in the wake of multiple cop killings of black people.
Trump immediately laid into his Democratic rival Joe Biden calling him ‘sleepy Joe’ and saying he ‘couldn’t even say the words law enforcement the other day’ as supporters chanted ‘four more years’.
‘Sleepy Joe Biden has betrayed Black and Latino Americans. If you think he can run this country, you’re wrong,’ Trump said.
He slammed Biden claiming he wants to defund the police – Biden has said on several occasions that he does not support defunding the police.
‘You understand that to protect the lives of Black Americans, and all Americans, we must support our police.’
He blasted ‘the left’ for ‘launch[ing] a nationwide crusade against law enforcement’ and mocked BLM demonstrators.
‘Biden likes to call them peaceful protesters,’ Trump said to the crowd who responded with boos.
‘Where there is evidence of wrongdoing by police, the criminal justice system must investigate and any perpetrators must be held accountable. But we must never allow mob rule,’ he said.
He went on to congratulate his own record for supporting the black community saying he has ‘done the most for the black community since Abraham Lincoln’ and said black Americans need to support law enforcement.
Trump went on to voice his confidence that he will win the election in November saying he had ‘great polls’ in several states.
‘We got a great poll in Florida. We got a great poll in North Carolina… We got a great poll in Nevada… Georgia is looking fantastic. Texas is looking fantastic… We got a great poll in Texas and great polls all over the place and they understand that,’ he said.
After around just 15 minutes, Trump ended his speech urging people to vote and telling his supporters ‘I love you’.
‘This is the single most important election in the history of our country. Get out and vote, and I love you,’ he said.
Trump then walked back inside the White House as the Marine Band played ‘God Bless America.’
It was an unusually short speech for the president whose last
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was seen at the event speaking to supporters on the South Lawn.
Meadows, who was wearing a mask, has so far tested negative for coronavirus.
After the brief event, Jared Kushner was seen – wearing a mask – crossing the Palm Room at the White House, though it is not clear if he attended the event.
One supporter who had traveled from California to the event said it felt like more of a ‘celebration’ than a campaign rally.
‘You know what, we heard that we’re gonna be out here to back the blue and our family is very pro police officer, law enforcement, law and order. So we had to come out here and do our part,’ said Yolanda de la Torre.
‘It felt a little bit like a celebration to me.’
Hundreds of maskless people sporting MAGA caps and waving American flags flocked to Washington DC Saturday
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House
Hundreds of people had arrived for the rally around an hour before the event’s start, with many dressed in blue shirts from the Blexit DC Back the Blue event already on the South Lawn
Hundreds of people sporting MAGA caps and waving American flags flocked to Washington DC late Saturday morning ahead of the event on the White House South Lawn kicking off at 2 p.m.
Hundreds of people arrived for a rally at The Ellipse before Trump’s event early afternoon where he is expected to focus on law and order.
Many supporters were dressed in blue shirts for the Blexit DC Back the Blue event, where they were packed in close together flouting social distancing and not wearing masks.
After the Blexit rally, attendees shared food, passing round pizza stoking more concerns of spreading the virus.
Many then headed to The White House for Trump’s first public event since he vowed to get back on the campaign trail on his release from hospital.
More than 2,000 invitations were sent out to Trump supporters requesting their attendance at the South Lawn event, fueling concerns over yet another coronavirus outbreak originating at the seat of the US government.
Officials told reporters the rally is an ‘official event’ not a campaign event and no campaign staff are involved.
The White House said precautions have been put in place to limit the risk of an outbreak and members of the press were tested for coronavirus on entry at the White House.
No campaign signs and banners will be distributed to supporters by officials in order to limit contact.
Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after returning to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday
The September 26 nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court became a COVID superspreader event
Attendees were told they would be given temperature checks on arrival, masks which they are instructed to wear, and access to hand sanitizer.
However it is unclear if masks and social distancing will be enforced.
It is also unclear if Trump is still contagious for the virus because the White House has refused to say when he last tested negative.
The South Lawn event has been described as a ‘peaceful protest for law and order’ and the president is expected to thank the American public for their support during his battle with the virus.
He is then expected to argue that Americans must support law enforcement and that not doing so causes more damage to black communities nationwide.
More than 2,000 invitations were sent out to Trump supporters requesting their attendance at Saturday’s event
People shared pizza and shunned masks after a rally at The Ellipse, before entering the White House for Trump’s event
Attendees for the White House event were told they would be given temperature checks on arrival, masks which they are instructed to wear, and access to hand sanitizer
Thousands of protesters have been taking to the streets of America demanding justice and an end to police brutality and racism following a string of cop killings of black men and women.
The Trump Campaign also announced Saturday the president will hold two more MAGA rallies next week.
He will hold a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday and in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.
Trump’s campaign earlier announced he was going to Sanford, Florida, for a rally Monday.
Nine attendees at his last rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, have now tested positive for the virus with two people in the hospital.
Last Friday, Trump was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Washington, DC, after he tested positive for the virus late Thursday.
Trump has since left hospital and returned to the White House claiming to be ‘cured’ of the virus.
At least 34 people in Donald Trump’s inner orbit have now tested positive for the virus according to a leaked memo, with at least nine cases among people who attended the ‘superspreader’ event at the White House on September 26 where the president officially announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick.
Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and Former adviser Kellyanne Conway, two senators – Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina – plus the president of Notre Dame university, John Jenkins, are some of those to test positive after attending the event.
The gathering attracted around 100 people – many of them not wearing face masks and all sitting close.