Trump to Resume Public Events Starting Saturday at White House

(Bloomberg) —

President Donald Trump will make his first public appearance since returning from a three-day hospitalization for Covid-19, setting the stage for a return to the campaign trail even as questions remain about whether he’s still contagious.

In a Saturday address from a White House balcony before hundreds of invited guests, Trump will seek to show that he has made a strong recovery from coronavirus and is ready to resume work and re-enter the re-election race against Democratic nominee and front-runner Joe Biden.

The event kicks off what could be a full week of campaign travel for the president, starting Monday with a stop in central Florida for a rally at the Orlando Sanford International Airport to make up for one canceled when Trump fell ill.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump Arrives Back At White House After Stay At Walter Reed Medical Center For Covid


© Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America
President Trump Arrives Back At White House After Stay At Walter Reed Medical Center For Covid

Donald Trump stands on the Truman Balcony on Oct. 5.

Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump has been itching to return to public events following his battle with the coronavirus, aides say — an impatience only heightened by the president falling further behind Biden in polls.

The White House event comes at the earliest moment doctors said the president would be able to return to public life. The gathering risks deepening concern among voters about Trump’s handling of a pandemic that has left more than two dozen of his close associates infected and more than 210,000 Americans dead.

After the president’s last outdoor event — a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to announce his pick of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court — at least 11 attendees tested positive for coronavirus. While the White House had a testing regime in place to screen for virus cases, few guests wore masks and attendees mingled and sat in close proximity to one another both indoors and outdoors.

Trump’s physician said Wednesday that the president had been free of symptoms for the previous 24 hours. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump “will be clear to go” on Saturday, when “he wants to talk to the American people.” There are medical tests underway to ensure he doesn’t transmit the virus when he returns to the campaign trail, she said on Fox News, adding that she’d conferred with White House doctor Sean Conley. McEnany, who herself has tested positive for Covid-19, is working remotely.

Virus Screening

On Saturday, White House guests must bring masks with them and wear them on the grounds, a person familiar with the matter said, adding that they also have to undergo a Covid-19 screening on Saturday morning that will include a temperature check and a brief questionnaire. But those rules were put in place not by the White House but by the organizer of the event, the Blexit group, led by Candace Owens, a Trump ally, the person said.

Video: Mike Pence Attends 2 Superspreader Events Ahead of Debate (Inside Edition)

Mike Pence Attends 2 Superspreader Events

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Trump to resume campaigning; second debate canceled

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will resume in-person campaigning on Saturday after being sidelined by a case of COVID-19, but a debate next week against his presidential election opponent Joe Biden was canceled because Trump refused to participate.

Trump will address a crowd of supporters on Saturday from a White House balcony on a “law and order” theme, an administration official said on Friday. A source familiar with the situation said the crowd could be in the hundreds, and all were expected to wear masks.

Then the Republican president will travel on Monday to central Florida, a state crucial to his hopes of winning a second term in the Nov. 3 election.

He will stage his first campaign rally since his coronavirus diagnosis at an airport in the town of Sanford. The campaign did not disclose if it would be held in a hangar with doors open, as it has in the past, or entirely outside.

As the president prepared to return to the trail, the body that oversees presidential debates said the match-up between Trump and Biden, the Democratic candidate, scheduled for Oct. 15 had been formally canceled.

Trump refused to participate in what was supposed to be the second of three debates with Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates switched it to a virtual contest in the wake of the president’s illness.

The final debate on Oct. 22 is still set to take place.

Questions remain about whether Trump, who announced on Oct. 2 he had the virus and spent three nights in a military hospital, is still contagious. Trump told Fox News he was likely to be tested for the virus on Friday.

The illness has kept him from holding public rallies and attending fundraisers at a critical juncture of the campaign. He trails Biden in opinion polls with just weeks to go before the election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House after taking off his protective face mask as he returns to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment, in Washington, U.S. October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

Attendees at the Florida rally will be given a temperature check, masks that they will be encouraged to wear and access to hand sanitizer, the campaign said.

Biden sharply criticized Trump’s decision to resume campaigning. “Good luck. I wouldn’t show up unless you have a mask and can distance,” he told reporters in Paradise, Nevada.

Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their handling of the pandemic, as well as for a lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing in the White House and – in recent days – confusing messages about how ill the president has been.

At least 11 people who attended a White House event on Sept. 26 where Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court have since tested positive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci,

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Trump Should Be Able to Resume Public Events Saturday, Doctor Says

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump says he feels well and hopes to hold a rally on Saturday. Trump should be able to resume public events that day, his doctor said. District of Columbia health authorities urged people who attended the Rose Garden ceremony announcing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to get tested for the coronavirus.



a man wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.


© Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.

Trump returned to the Oval Office Wednesday for the first time since getting back to the White House Monday evening after his hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He said on Thursday in his first live interview since returning home that his drugs have been dialed down, and that he’s taking a steroid that isn’t “heavy.”

Key Developments:

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Trump Says He Hopes to Do a Rally on Saturday

President Donald Trump said he was feeling “really good” after his bout with Covid-19 and was planning a rally on Saturday.

“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night. If we can, if we have enough time to put it together,” he told Sean Hannity of Fox News in a telephone interview on Thursday night.

“But we want to do a rally in Florida, probably in Florida on Saturday night,” he said. “Might come back and do one in Pennsylvania on the following night.”

Earlier Thursday, Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a memorandum released by the White House that Trump probably could resume public events by Saturday.

The interview with Hannity took place a week after their last exchange, which occurred hours before Trump said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump May Resume Public Events on Saturday, Doctor Says (8:05 p.m.)

President Donald Trump’s physician says that he can probably “safely return to public engagements” on Saturday.

The physician, Sean Conley, said in a memorandum released Thursday night that Trump had completed his course of therapy for Covid-19 and “had responded extremely well to treatment.” An examination showed that Trump had “remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” Conley said.

Conley said Saturday marks “day 10” since the president’s Covid-19 diagnosis and based on “the trajectory of the advanced diagnostics” he should be able to resume public events then.

Conley had said earlier this week that the president’s illness could still take a turn. “We all remain cautiously optimistic and on guard because we’re in a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to a patient that received the therapies he has so early in the course,” he said.

“We’re looking to this weekend,” Conley added. “If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then

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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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House Unveils New Stimulus Package as Pelosi and Mnuchin Resume Talks

“With families, businesses and local communities truly hurting from the impacts of this health and economic crisis, it’s unconscionable for Congress to go home without taking action,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey. “Right now, there’s a huge amount of support from both sides of the aisle to finally get a new relief package over the finish line, and I’m hopeful that the legislation being announced today can help get the House and Senate to come to an agreement and that the president can sign it into law as soon as possible.”

After negotiating an agreement early last week to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on Thursday, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin agreed to resume conversations surrounding a broader relief package.

“I think we can find our common ground, and we’re ready when he comes back,” Ms. Pelosi said on MSNBC early Monday, before her call with Mr. Mnuchin. “We’re ready to have that conversation, but he has to come back with much more money to get the job done. So, I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic.”

Mr. Mnuchin, along with Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, has repeatedly urged Congress to provide more economic aid, with programs and funding approved in the $2.2 trillion stimulus law in March continuing to expire. But some Senate Republicans and some White House officials have warned against adding to the nation’s debt with another sweeping package, even as many economists have warned it is necessary to ensure a swift recovery from the economic toll of the pandemic.

“If Democrats are willing to sit down, I’m willing to sit down any time for bipartisan legislation in the Senate,” Mr. Mnuchin said in testimony this month before the Senate Banking Committee. “Let’s pass something quickly.”

The legislation unveiled on Monday would also delay deadlines for both the collection of census data and the submission of redistricting data to Congress, which the White House has been trying to speed ahead on and resisted including in the stopgap funding bill. It would provide $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing, offer funds for rental assistance, require a federal standard for worker protections against the coronavirus and revive a lapsed popular program for small businesses.

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Economic relief talks between White House and Pelosi suddenly resume as House Democrats make new offer

The two have negotiated extensively this year on economic relief bills. They initially found success but they have been at odds in recent months and talks have repeatedly broken down. They are running out of time to reach an agreement before the November elections, but their planned talks this week appear to be the most extensive engagement they have had in more than a month.

Democrats described their new offer as an updated version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May, which the White House and Senate Republicans dismissed as far too costly. Senate Republicans and Mnuchin have also said $2.2 trillion is too much to spend, but Mnuchin has said he is open to negotiations. It was not immediately clear if the talks would bear fruit or whether Democratic leaders would use the bill to provide political cover for moderate House Democrats, who have grown increasingly anxious over Congress’s recent inaction on pandemic relief legislation.

As the pandemic worsened earlier this year and many businesses shut down, Congress passed four bipartisan bills in March and April that pumped close to $3 trillion into the economy. But they have not passed an economic-relief law since then. Talks involving Mnuchin and Pelosi collapsed in early August and, before now, had shown little sign of reviving.

Mnuchin has said his priorities in a new round of spending would be aid for small businesses and children, among others. He has also talked about providing more assistance to the airline industry and approving another round of stimulus checks. There is some overlap in the White House’s goals with the things Democrats included in their new bill.

For example, the Democrats’ bill would extend the $32 billion payroll support program for the airline industry, which is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, threatening tens of thousands of jobs. It would include another round of $1,200 stimulus payments as well as renew the expired unemployment benefits of $600 per week.

The bill would fund a range of other programs, including many that Republicans have supported. It would, for example, extend the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and provide $182 billion for K-12 schools and $39 billion for postsecondary schools. An additional $57 billion would go towards other child care costs.

The biggest budget item in the package would be $436 billion in aid to states, cities, territorial and tribal governments that have experienced a major budget crunch this year. That’s about half as much as the amount for cities and states that was included in the original Heroes Act, because the time period for funding state and local budgets was reduced. The White House has mostly opposed more funding for states and cities, and Trump has said that was one of the biggest sticking points in past discussions.

There would be an assortment of other programs supported by the bill, including $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing.

“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill,

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House hits pause on spending vote as Hill leaders resume talks

Congressional leaders are back at the negotiating table over the three-month stopgap — which is intended to punt any fiscal drama past Sept. 30 and until the lame-duck session — after talks broke down on Friday. While both parties appear to be coalescing around a Dec. 11 end date, Democrats and Republicans have squabbled for weeks over which funding and policy exceptions should be included in the continuing resolution, which would buy more time for negotiations on a broader spending deal.

A deal appeared to be coming together on Friday, including tens of billions of dollars in payments to farmers that Republicans sought in exchange for $2 billion in pandemic-related nutritional assistance that Democrats wanted.

But last-minute objections to the trade relief — including Democratic concerns that the president is leveraging the money to boost his reelection chances — tanked the talks. House Democrats ultimately released stopgap legislation on Monday that lacked both provisions, drawing the ire of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky,), who tweeted that it “shamefully leaves out key relief and support that American farmers need.”

Without a spending agreement, top Democrats and Republicans would find themselves exactly where they don’t want to be just weeks before the election — perilously close to the Sept. 30 deadline with no agreement to keep the government open.

Pelosi and McConnell have been adamant about avoiding another government shutdown under President Donald Trump and have supported a bill to extend funding through mid-December.

Senate Republicans on Monday said a lack of relief for farmers in the stopgap spending bill is problematic. But most stressed that it’s not worth shutting down the government in protest and said their side of the Capitol could still attempt to amend the bill.

“We could offer an amendment to try to put it back,” Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said of the trade aid on Monday. “Or we could vote against the CR. But I’m for running the government. I’d prefer to keep the government running.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, slammed the lack of assistance for farmers. But when asked whether Republicans would shut down the government without it, he replied, “No.”

As of Friday, Democrats had dropped a request that would extend the Census Bureau’s Dec. 31 deadline to turn over apportionment data used to divvy up House seats to the president — potentially punting the final handling of census data to Democratic nominee Joe Biden if he’s elected this November.

Democrats had also failed to secure $3.6 billion in election security grants.

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White House offered tests to Big Ten to resume football: Sources

The Big Ten got the virus tests from a private company instead, officials said.

The Big Ten ultimately sourced the tests from a private company instead, the officials said.

The conference announced Wednesday its football season — on hold due to the outbreak — would resume on Oct. 23. It said it would utilize “stringent medical protocols,” including daily testing of its student-athletes and coaches.

Trump had since last month been publicly insisting the Big Ten kick off its football season, and he spoke with the conference’s commissioner, Kevin Warren, on Sept. 1, about the matter.

PHOTO: Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

Turf manager Jared Hertzel touches up the newly-painted Big Ten conference logo on the football field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 6, 2011.

“I called the commissioner a couple of weeks ago, and we started putting a lot of pressure on, frankly, because there was no reason for it not to come back,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.

After that call, Trump directed White House staff to provide any federal resources the conference needed, according to the senior administration official.

“Probably for political reasons, it was easy for the Big Ten to convince their presidents to vote for it, if it wasn’t going to be provided by this White House,” the official said.

Trump has for months called for the return of professional and college sports, many of which had been put on hold. He has pushed for states and schools to lift coronavirus-related restrictions despite the continued high rate of virus transmission in certain parts of the country; his own presidential campaign has ignored local restrictions on crowd sizes, mask-wearing and social distancing.

Many leagues have recently resumed play with safety protocols restrictions and limits on spectators. They have had varying degrees of success in responding to athletes who have fallen ill with the virus.

The Big Ten said Wednesday that athletes, coaches, trainers and others who go on the field would get tested daily and that athletes who receive a

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