October 30, 2020

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Trump plans to hold outdoor event at White House while still possibly infected

  • President Donald Trump plans to hold an outdoor event at the White House on Saturday with hundreds of people in attendance, even though he hasn’t released a negative test for COVID-19, ABC News and The New York Times reported. 
  • The outlets said Trump would address a crowd gathered on the White House lawn from one of the White House’s balconies. 
  • Trump also plans to travel to a rally in Florida on Monday. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump plans to hold an outdoor event at the White House on Saturday with hundreds of people in attendance before he has released a negative test for COVID-19, outlets including ABC News and The New York Times reported on Friday.

ABC and The Times said Trump was set to give an outdoor speech from one of the White House’s balconies to a group of supporters attending a separate event hosted by the conservative commentator and Trump supporter Candace Owens. 

Trump also plans to hold a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday, he announced in a Friday tweet. 

Trump, who was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over the weekend, has not released a negative test for the virus since his diagnosis last week. 

Trump first tested positive for COVID-19 on October 1 and announced that he and first lady Melania had tested positive for the disease shortly before 1 a.m. on October 2. 

The Times reported that “some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern about what the president might say in his remarks at the Saturday event” and “feared the entire event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier” about the coronavirus.

Trump did a photo op from a White House balcony in which he removed his face mask to wave at the cameras upon his return from Walter Reed to the White House on Monday. 

The most recent large gathering the White House hosted was an event on September 26 to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. While the event was held outdoors in the Rose Garden, many attendees did not wear masks and closely interacted with each other. 

Multiple people who attended the gathering, including the president and first lady, two US senators, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former White House aide Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the president of Notre Dame University, tested positive for COVID-19 afterward. 

A number of other White House staff, including ones who did not attend the Rose Garden event, also subsequently tested positive for the disease, leading Dr. Anthony Fauci to describe it as a “superspreader” event in a Friday interview with CBS News.

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