Trump rallies supporters at White House in first event since COVID-19 diagnosis

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 on 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 more than 15 minutes, touting his support for law enforcement and hammering Democrats for nationwide demonstrations 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 left-wing 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. The police killings of several other Black Americans, including Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have added to nationwide calls for police reform and racial justice.

“Black and Latino Americans are rejecting the radical socialist left, and they’re embracing our pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-police — we want law and order; we have to have law and order — and pro-American agenda,” he said to cheers.

He has assailed Black Lives Matter as “an extreme socialist” movement and stood firmly with local police departments.

The president has looked to expand his appeal to people of color by touting record low unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic Americans before the coronavirus struck.

The president mentioned his Platinum Plan, which was unveiled last month and includes platforms such as making Juneteenth a federal holiday and prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization.

The plan will “bring back new jobs, like at a level that you’ve never seen before … increase capital, increase money coming into the Black community, into the Hispanic community,” Trump said Saturday.

Trump also promoted the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, boasting confidence that the country would effectively handle the health impacts of the virus and recover economic gains that were lost.

“I want

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2020 Election Live Updates: Despite Concerns of Health Experts, Trump Plans Rallies at White House and in Florida

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Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President Trump is planning to host hundreds of people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.

The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which was expected to include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, one of the people familiar with the plans said. The event, which was first reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention.

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 a virus that has killed over 210,000 Americans.

The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio Friday that there had been “a superspreader event in the White House,” noting that people had crowded together there without wearing masks.

One person familiar with the planning for the White House event said that all attendees would be required to bring and wear a mask, and that they would have to submit to a temperature check and a fill out a questionnaire.

And Mr. Trump is planning to hit the campaign trail again, even as outside medical experts caution that doing so could pose risks to himself and others: The campaign announced that he would deliver remarks at a “Make America Great Again” event at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Attendees at the Florida event will be asked to sign a disclaimer stating that “you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.”

In a meeting after the Republican National Convention, where the president staged his acceptance speech on the South Lawn in front of supporters — many of whom had not been tested — the president joked about the agitation he had caused among his critics about how he may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job,

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Trump insists he’s ready to resume rallies; physician says therapy done

U.S. President Donald Trump salutes Marine One helicopter pilots on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.

Ken Cedeno | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he is ready to resume campaign rallies and feels “perfect” one week after his diagnosis with the coronavirus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans, as his doctor said the president had “completed his course of therapy” for the disease.

The president has not been seen in public — other than in White House-produced videos — since his Monday return from the military hospital where he received experimental treatments for the virus. On Thursday, his physician, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said in a memo that Trump would be able to safely “return to public engagements” on Saturday, as the president tries to shift his focus to the election that’s less than four weeks away, with millions of Americans already casting ballots.

While Trump said he believes he’s no longer contagious, concerns about infection appeared to scuttle plans for next week’s presidential debate.

“I’m feeling good. Really good. I think perfect,” Trump said during a telephone interview with Fox Business, his first since he was released from a three-day hospital stay Monday. “I think I’m better to the point where I’d love to do a rally tonight,” Trump said. He added, “I don’t think I’m contagious at all.”

In a Fox News interview Thursday night, Trump said he wanted to hold a rally in Florida on Saturday “if we have enough time to put it together.” He said he might also hold a rally the following night in Pennsylvania. “I feel so good,” he told Fox’s Sean Hannity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals can discontinue isolation 10 days after the onset of symptoms, which for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. Conley said that meant Trump, who has been surrounded by minimal staffing as he works out of the White House residence and the Oval Office, could return to holding events on Saturday.

He added that Trump was showing no evidence of his illness progressing or adverse reactions to the aggressive course of therapy prescribed by his doctors.

Earlier this week, the president’s doctors suggested they would work closely with military medical research facilities and other laboratories on “advanced diagnostic testing” to determine when the president was no longer contagious, but did not elaborate.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said two negative PCR lab tests 24 hours apart are a key factor in determining whether someone is still contagious.

“So, if the president goes 10 days without symptoms, and they do the tests that we were talking about, then you could make the assumption, based on good science, that he is not infected,” Fauci said Thursday on MSNBC.

While reports of reinfection are rare, the CDC recommends that even people who recover from Covid-19 continue to wear a mask, stay distanced and

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Pelosi rallies U.S. House Democrats on possible presidential election decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rallying Democrats to prepare for a once-in-a-century election scenario requiring Congress to decide the outcome of the presidential race if neither Democrat Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump wins outright.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago

In a campaign letter to colleagues, Pelosi told her fellow House Democrats that recent comments by Trump demonstrate that he could ask the House to decide the race if it is not clear which of the two candidates had received the minimum 270 Electoral College votes in the Nov. 3 presidential election needed to gain office.

Trump repeatedly has questioned the security of mail-in ballots, which could take a while to tabulate given the high number of voters likely to use them this year due to the pandemic.

Democrats fear that the president could attempt to have the count of those votes cut short in an attempt to have the election outcome determined by the House.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the House would vote by state delegation to settle such a contest, with each state casting a single vote. While Democrats control the chamber by 232 seats to 198, Republicans control a majority of 26 state delegations versus 22 for Democrats. Pennsylvania’s delegation is tied, while Michigan has a 7-6 split between Democrats and Republicans and an additional seat held by a Libertarian.

The House has not determined the outcome of a presidential election since 1876.

Pelosi called on Democrats for “an all out effort” to capture additional Republican-held House seats, which they might need if a decision on the presidential election spills over into next year. She also urged Democrats to marshal resources to support the House Majority PAC, a political action committee committed to promoting Democratic candidates for the House.

“Because we cannot leave anything to chance, House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats,” Pelosi wrote.

A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the campaign arm of the House Republican caucus, said Pelosi was trying to “meddle” in the presidential election.

“We welcome any opportunity to highlight San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to meddle in elections. Pelosi is the most unpopular politician in America,” NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement.

Reporting by David Morgan and Susan Heavey; editing by Richard Cowan, Alistair Bell and Bill Berkrot

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Pelosi Rallies U.S. House Democrats on Possible Presidential Election Decision | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rallying Democrats to prepare for a once-in-a-century election scenario requiring Congress to decide the outcome of the presidential race, if neither Democrat Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump wins outright.

In a campaign letter to colleagues, Pelosi told her fellow House Democrats that recent comments by Trump demonstrate that he could ask the House to decide the race if it is not clear which of the two had received the minimum 270 Electoral College votes in the Nov. 3 presidential election to gain office.

Trump repeatedly has questioned the security of mail-in ballots, which could take a while to tabulate given the high number of voters likely to opt for using them this year.

Democrats fear that the president could attempt to have the count of those votes cut short in an attempt to have the election outcome determined by the House. 

Under the U.S. Constitution, the House would vote by state delegation to settle such a contest, with each state casting a single vote. While Democrats control the chamber by 232 seats to 198, Republicans control a majority of 26 state delegations, vs. 22 for Democrats. Pennsylvania’s delegation is tied, while Michigan has a 7-6 split between Democrats and Republicans and an additional seat held by a Libertarian.

The House has not determined the outcome of a presidential election since 1876.

Pelosi called on Democrats for “an all out effort” to capture additional Republican-held House seats, which they might need if a decision on the presidential election spills over into next year. She also urged Democrats to marshal resources to support the House Majority PAC, a political action committee committed to promoting Democratic candidates for the House.

“Because we cannot leave anything to chance, House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats,” Pelosi wrote.

House Republicans and their aides were not immediately available for comment. Like Democrats, they too have political operations aimed at expanding their numbers in the House.

(Reporting by David Morgan and Susan Heavey; editing by Richard Cowan and Alistair Bell)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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WH cites 1st Amendment in defending Trump rallies that flout COVID restrictions

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s crowded rallies that contradict local COVID-19 rules and his own administration’s health guidance — saying supporters are exercising their First Amendment rights.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Supporters cheer as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Smith Reynolds Regional Airport in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sept. 8, 2020.


© Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Supporters cheer as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Smith Reynolds Regional Airport in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sept. 8, 2020.

She argued there is a double-standard when it comes to allowing crowds at protests — hours before the Trump campaign announced airport hangar rallies in Nevada planned for this weekend have been cancelled.

After touting the president’s coronavirus response in North Carolina, a reporter asked McEnany at an afternoon White House briefing why the president chose to host a rally there with thousands of people, many not wearing masks, on Tuesday night when the state has limited its outdoor gatherings to 50 people and mandated masks in public.

MORE: Trump admitted he deliberately played down coronavirus threat: Reports

“People have a First Amendment right if they so choose to show up and express their political opinion in the form of a peaceful protest which is what the president has held and there is a real double standard here,” McEnany said.



a person holding a sign: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 9, 2020.


© Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 9, 2020.

“CNN had on a guest, apparently a doctor, Rob Davidson, who said, ‘Now, true, there are social distancing issues with regard to the protests around the country. However, this is a public health crisis. They are marching against systemic racism.’ So if you’re allowed to march in aggregate in those protests, you are also allowed to show up at a political rally. You have a First Amendment right in this country,” she continued.

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Shortly after the briefing, the Trump campaign announced its airport hangar rallies scheduled in Nevada this weekend had been cancelled, which presumably would have flouted the state’s COVID-19 restrictions limiting public gatherings to 50 people, and said that Trump would instead still hold other events in the state.

The Trump campaign said 15,000 supporters showed up at its airport-hanger rally on Tuesday night, and most attendees were packed together and not wearing masks, despite the state’s restrictions that outdoor gathering shouldn’t exceed 50 persons.

MORE: Coronavirus news: University imposes quarantine for all students

The White House coronavirus task force recently identified North Carolina as having the 18th highest rate of cases in the U.S. and recommended enforced social distancing and mask mandates — but McEnany vehemently defended the gathering on Wednesday.

“If people want to show up and express their political views, that’s their choice to do so. We hand out masks, we encourage the individuals to wear those masks. A lot of people did, I was in North Carolina last night and saw it. We give out hand sanitizer. But at the end of the day, if you want to join a

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