resident Donald Trump took off his mask and told a 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 their support from Democrats to Republicans.
During the unusually short speech from Trump he laid into ‘sleepy Joe’, claimed he has achieved great things for black communities across America and hit out at Black Lives Matter protesters calling them ‘leftwing fanatics’.
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.
It comes as 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.
The president tested positive for the deadly virus last Thursday and was taken to hospital Friday when his condition worsened.
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, meaning he may still be contagious and could have risked more lives – such as those of event organizers and security – by demanding the event go ahead.
The White House has refused to say whether the president has tested negative for the virus.
The president was more than six feet away from supporters addressing them from the Blue Room balcony Saturday, but the crowds of around 400 were packed in below with little to no social distancing.
The Trump campaign also announced Saturday Trump 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 balcony just after 2 p.m. Saturday as the Marine Band played ‘Hail to the Chief’.