Trump to appear at White House event, first since returning from Walter Reed

President Trump on Saturday will hold his first public event since testing positive for coronavirus, delivering remarks from a White House balcony to group of supporters on a law and order theme.

Trump tested positive Oct. 1 and was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with serious symptoms the next day. He returned to the White House on Monday, and has since made a number of virtual appearances on TV and radio, and in videos.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump will speak at what his campaign has described as a “peaceful protest for law & order.” At least several hundred supporters are expected to attend, gathered on the South Lawn.

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The event is likely to be scrutinized over whether it adheres to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. It is set to take place near the location of the Sept. 26 celebration for Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, now considered a “superspreader” event after a number of attendees tested postive.

Attendees for the balcony speech will be required to bring masks to the event, or will be given one, and will also fill out a health questionnaire and have their temperatures checked. They will be encouraged to follow CDC guidelines, including wearing masks and keeping social distance.

In Washington, D.C., restrictions prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people and masks are mandatory — but such rules do not apply on federal land.

The event is in line with one of Trump’s central messages to voters — that he is a law and order candidate who will protect police and restore order in cities and elsewhere, where there have been riots and a rise in violent crime.

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He has attempted to paint Democratic opponent Joe Biden as beholden to calls to defund police coming from the far left of the party — a claim denied by Biden, who has instead accused Trump of pulling resources away from police.

Saturday’s event marks the beginning of a return to public events for Trump, with Election Day now just over three weeks away. Trump plans to follow the White House event with a Monday rally in Florida that had been scheduled for last week.

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However, not everything is back on schedule. A debate Thursday between Trump and Biden was canceled after the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would shift to a virtual format — a proposal Trump described as a “waste of time.”

Both candidates have agreed to participate at an Oct. 22 debate in-person at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., the commission said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump continues to downplay virus after returning to White House

Washington — President Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday evening, hours after the medical team treating him for COVID-19 cautioned that he’s “not out of the woods yet.” He got back to the White House shortly before 7 p.m., where he took off his mask and gave a thumbs up before walking inside.

He soon tweeted a minute-long video from the balcony, saying he’d “learned so much about coronavirus” and believes he might be immune to it. “One thing that’s for certain: Don’t let it dominate you,” he said of COVID-19. “Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it.”

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the president again compared COVID-19 to the flu, which is much less lethal and contagious than the coronavirus. He said Americans “have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid.” More than 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The president’s attitude alarmed many infectious disease experts, who said he should have stressed precautions Americans should take to try to avoid getting the coronavirus.

Earlier Monday, Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, told reporters Mr. Trump will be “surrounded by world-class medical care, 24/7” at the White House.

He’s being treated with dexamethasone, a powerful steroid recommended for use in severe cases of COVID-19. The drug can carry serious psychological side effects, but Conley said the president hasn’t exhibited any of them. He repeatedly declined to provide specifics about the president’s lung condition or the last time Mr. Trump tested negative for the virus, citing federal privacy laws.

President Trump Recuperates Amid Questions About His Health And Campaign
President Trump holds his protective mask on the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, October 5, 2020.

Ken Cedeno/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Doctors disturbed after Trump removes his mask upon returning to the White House

“What White House staffer would still wanna go to work tomorrow???” Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist with the Federation of American Scientists, said in a tweet Monday night. “Epidemiologists just wanna vomit.”

Dozens of medical professionals and commentators echoed Feigl-Ding’s concerns Monday night, slamming the president for posing and then reentering the White House without a mask even though he is still suffering symptoms of covid-19.

Some medical experts were not just concerned for White House staff, but for the president himself.

Ilan Schwartz, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta’s division of infectious diseases, said the president appeared to be struggling to breathe in a brief clip that showed him standing outside the White House.

“This is a textbook example of increased work of breathing,” Schwartz tweeted.

A White House spokesman responded to Monday’s widespread criticisms, saying the White House is taking “every precaution necessary” to protect the president, his family and staff.

“Physical access to the President will be significantly limited and appropriate PPE will be worn when near him,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in an email. “President Trump will continue to receive around-the-clock medical care and monitoring from his Physician and a team of dedicated physicians and nurses in the White House Medical Unit who function out of a state-of-the-art clinic, which includes many of the things a person would see in an urgent care clinic and much more, to ensure the Commander-in-Chief makes a full recovery and can continue to discharge his duties.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people diagnosed with covid-19 wait at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms and go at least 24 hours without a fever before having contact with other people. Asymptomatic carriers who test positive for the virus but do not experience symptoms should wait 10 days after their positive test, the CDC says. And those who suffer a severe case of covid-19 may need to isolate longer, up to 20 days after getting sick.

Trump’s maskless moment at the White House and a short drive he took Sunday with several Secret Service agents to greet supporters outside of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center appear to violate those recommendations.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta was also among the doctors disturbed by the president’s actions on Monday.

“There is stuff that is pretty reckless, but at some point it’s just becoming absurd,” Gupta said, according to a tweet shared by one of his colleagues at CNN. “A person with known contagious deadly disease — without a mask on — is walking into the residence. Other people are around him.”

The heightened risk of coronavirus for people working within the White House has had many on high-alert as the virus spread quickly among individuals who had close contact with Trump last week. At least 10 people who attended a ceremony in the Rose Garden last week to mark the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett have since tested

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Trump returning to White House after saying he ‘learned’ about COVID-19 by having it

At a news conference Monday afternoon, the president’s physician declined to comment on Trump telling Americans not to be afraid. “I’m not going to get into what the president says,” Dr. Sean Conley said.

Trump has for months has played down the threat of the pandemic, mocked mask-wearing, flouted public health guidelines and expressed little empathy for the nearly 210,000 Americans who have died.

Criticized for mishandling his response, he and his campaign now are casting him as someone strong and uniquely qualified to lead the fight.

“I learned a lot about COVID,” Trump said in a video he tweeted Sunday afternoon. “I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the, ‘Let’s-read-the-book school.’ And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

“I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he tweeted Monday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for his campaign on Monday criticized the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, for having not contracted the virus himself.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.

President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.

President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.

“He has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual,” Erin Perrine, director of press communications for Trump’s campaign, said in an interview with Fox News Monday morning. “Those first-hand experiences Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”

In stark contrast with Trump, Biden has for months practiced strict coronavirus protocols, severely limiting the sizes of his events and frequently wearing a face covering. He has repeatedly said he would trust public health officials — unlike Trump, who has disagreed with them in public, politicized mask-wearing and made false and misleading claims about treatments and vaccines.

Biden’s campaign has followed strict social distancing in order to keep the candidate safe and project an image

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Trump returning White House after saying he ‘learned’ about COVID-19 by having it

President Donald Trump said Monday afternoon he would return to the White House later that day after spending three nights undergoing treatment for the novel coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, even as the number of White House staff and associates infected with COVID-19 continued to rise alarmingly.



a person driving a car: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


© Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

After receiving world-class care and special access to therapeutics, Trump continued trying to turn his personal health crisis into a political plus with the election just four weeks away tweeting : “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”



a person driving a car: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


© Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, the president’s physician declined to comment on Trump telling Americans not to be afraid. “I’m not going to get into what the president says,” Dr. Sean Conley said.

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Trump has for months has played down the threat of the pandemic, mocked mask-wearing, flouted public health guidelines and expressed little empathy for the nearly 210,000 Americans who have died.

Criticized for mishandling his response, he and his campaign now are casting him as someone strong and uniquely qualified to lead the fight.

“I learned a lot about COVID,” Trump said in a video he tweeted Sunday afternoon. “I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the, ‘Let’s-read-the-book school.’ And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

“I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he tweeted Monday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for his campaign on Monday criticized the Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, for having not contracted the virus himself.



a man standing in front of a car: President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after he tested positive for COVID-19, Oct. 2, 2020, in Washington.

“He has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual,” Erin Perrine, director of press communications for Trump’s campaign, said in an interview with Fox News Monday morning. “Those first-hand experiences Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”

In stark contrast with Trump, Biden has for months practiced strict coronavirus protocols, severely limiting the sizes of his events and frequently wearing a face covering. He has repeatedly said he would trust public health officials — unlike Trump, who has disagreed with them in public, politicized mask-wearing and made false and misleading claims about treatments and vaccines.

Biden’s campaign has followed strict social distancing in order to keep the candidate safe and project an image of responsibility in contrast, they say, with Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic.

The president has

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