Wife of Trump’s labor secretary, who was at Barrett Rose Garden event, tests positive for Covid-19

Trish Scalia, the wife of President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, has tested positive for Covid-19, the Labor Department said Tuesday night.

The agency said in a statement that doctors performed the test Tuesday afternoon. She has “mild symptoms but [is] doing well,” the statement said.

Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, tested negative Friday night, according to the Labor Department. He has experienced no symptoms.

“The Secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish’s recovery and the health of those around them. For the time being, the Secretary will work from home while continuing to carry out the mission of the Department and the President’s agenda,” the agency said in the statement.

The secretary and his wife attended the Rose Garden ceremony last month where Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett’s confirmation hearing began this week.

Trish Scalia, in blue, sits behind first lady Melania Trump at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s introduction as President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee at a White House event on Sept. 26.Al Drago / Redux Pictures file

Scalia sat behind first lady Melania Trump and next to former senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway, both of whom have contracted the virus.

Trish Scalia is the latest high-profile person — which includes White House staffers, members of Congress and Trump campaign staff members — to have tested positive for the virus. More than a dozen people connected to the administration, Congress or Trump’s campaign were infected, including the first lady and the president, who has since recovered.

The Trump administration has been sharply criticized for its response to the virus, and public health experts have called the ceremony at the White House a “superspreader” event. The disease, which has shuttered businesses nationwide and sent the economy into a tailspin, has killed more than 200,000 people since the end of February. There have been nearly 8 million confirmed cases in the U.S.

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Ex-Pence adviser says Trump’s Fauci ad is a ‘gross’ example of a White House with ‘no regard for the truth’

Olivia Troye, a former member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is calling the Trump campaign’s decision to use an edited clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci in a new ad “gross and upsetting and typical of a White House that has no regard for the truth.”

Before resigning in July, Troye served as Vice President Mike Pence’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, and was his lead staffer on the task force. She began speaking out against the Trump administration last month, releasing an ad with the Republican Voters Against Trump organization that slammed the president for not taking COVID-19 seriously.

Fauci is the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and for a new ad, the Trump campaign spliced together Fauci’s words in an attempt to make it sound like he was praising the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci said on Sunday his words were used out of context and without his permission, and over the course of his career he has “never publicly endorsed any political candidate.” On Monday, he called on the campaign to take down the ad.

Troye was shocked by the ad, and in response she quickly filmed a new video for Republican Voters Against Trump, which was released on Monday night. In it, Troye explains that she worked side-by-side with Fauci on the coronavirus task force, and she “witnessed Donald Trump and senior White House officials routinely sideline and discredit Dr. Fauci, both privately and publicly, and now the Trump campaign is twisting Dr. Fauci’s words in a campaign ad for their own political gain.”

This is “gross and upsetting and typical of a White House that has no regard for the truth,” Troye continues. “For Donald Trump, it’s always about him. For Dr. Fauci, it’s always been about serving the American people. Join me as a Republican and former Trump administration staffer who is voting for Joe Biden.” Republican Voters Against Trump says the ad will air nationally during one of Trump’s favorite shows: Fox & Friends.

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A Barrett court would continue Trump’s deregulatory agenda long after he’s left the White House, experts say

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has brought the public’s attention to divisive social issues like abortion rights, but replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a more conservative figure could have an equally important effect on business regulation and the U.S. economy.



a person wearing a suit and tie: Amy Coney Barrett.


© Getty Images
Amy Coney Barrett.

“Barrett is likely to be a pro-business justice, to restrict the ability of government to adopt some economic regulations, and would likely vote to expand the constitutional rights of business,” said Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA and author of the book “We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights.”

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That could be good news for stock-market investors, as analysts have long pointed to the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations and slow the implementation of new rules as a major driver of recent stock-market gains. Since President Trump’s election in November of 2016, the S&P 500 index (SPX) has returned 60.4%, according to FactSet. But it is a potentially troubling proposition for workers-rights advocates and environmentalists who have increasingly relied on agency regulation to achieve their policy goals.

One contentious issue being litigated in federal courts is Environmental Protection Agency regulations that limit electric power plants’ ability to emit greenhouse gases. President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency argued that the 1972 Clean Air Act requires it to issue such regulations, resulting in the 2016 Clean Power Plan. The Trump Administration subsequently rolled back those regulations, instituting a more business friendly Affordable Clean Energy rule.

But some conservative lawmakers, legal thinkers and activists argue that the Supreme Court should go further and strike down the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases whatsoever. Jonathan Wood, attorney at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, told MarketWatch that many federal judges have questioned, on constitutional grounds, the ability of federal regulators to use old laws to make new regulations on issues that weren’t on the minds of Congress when those laws were passed, and a more conservative court could potentially make this view the law of the land.

“The idea that the Clean Air act in 1972 answered the question of how to address greenhouse gas emissions is sort of laughable,” he said. “But because courts have been so willing to defer to agency interpretations of statutes, they’ve gotten away with stretching statutes and trying to create policy without having to go back to Congress and say, ‘Oh, we’ve run into a new challenge, we need you to write new legislation to deal with it.’ ”

Of central importance to this debate is the doctrine of Chevron deference, which the Supreme Court established in 1984, and which requires judges to defer to agency interpretation of statutes as long as that interpretation is reasonable. Conservatives have long railed against this principle as one that has led to the growth of the administrative state.

“[Chevron (CVX) deference] has become a direct threat to the rule of law and the moral underpinnings of America’s constitutional order,” wrote Sen.

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People in the GOP, White House, and Trump’s campaign increasingly think they will lose the White House, and maybe the Senate too, reports say



graphical user interface, application: President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room of the White House on Octover 10, 2020. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room of the White House on Octover 10, 2020. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

  • Republicans and White House officials fear that President Donald Trump is headed for defeat, according to a series of recent reports.
  • Some fear the GOP could lose control of the Senate in a “blue wave” of Democratic votes on November 3.
  • The gloom from Republicans seems supported by polling data, which paints an increasingly negative picture for Trump.
  • Trump’s much criticised performance in his debate with Joe Biden and, his behavior when diagnosed with COVID-19, are among factors said to be alienating voters. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fears are growing in the Republican Party and White House that Democratic nominee Joe Biden may be on course for a landslide presidential election victory, according to multiple reports. 

The weekend brought further gloomy polling data for the Trump campaign, with an ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday showing that Biden has support of 53% of likely voters to Trump’s 41%.

The result matched trends in a series of other recent polls showing the president trailing Biden on average by 10 points or more. 

Swing state polls brought more bad news  — with Biden continuing to hold a lead in states that flipped to the Republicans in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

Though the races in these states are tighter, Biden’s lead has been consistent. It led to a rash of bad headlines prompted by worried insiders:

  • Citing dozens of White House and Trump campaign officials, the Associated Press reported on Monday the fear that Trump’s widely criticised first debate performance with Biden and erratic response after being diagnosed with COVID-19 could see them lose not just the White House but also the Senate. 
  • NBC News on Friday reported that Republican donors and operatives worry a “blue wave” is coming. They are said to favor shifting resources from the presidential race — seen by some as a lost cause — to protecting vulnerable Congress seats. 
  • Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz on Saturday warned that the GOP faced “a bloodbath of Watergate proportions” and could lose control of the Senate and White House if conditions are wrong come polling day.
  • Reuters also last week reported that the GOP was increasingly anxious that the Democrats are poised to seize control of the Senate. Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis was “the nail in the coffin; it’s all over” for the party’s hopes of defending its majority, a senior Senate Republican aide told the outlet. 

Though Trump’s prospects of victory may appear to be fading, some campaign officials believe the president will able to claw back ground this week, reported AP.

The Senate confirmation hearings of judge Amy Coney Barrett, which begin on Monday, are expected to take focus away from the pandemic and fire up conservatives.

Other officials hope that, as in 2016, pollsters are undercounting

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Trump’s White House event had hallmarks of campaign rally

President Trump’s first public appearance since he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis appeared to be an unofficial rally at the White House. On Saturday, Mr. Trump addressed hundreds of supporters closely gathered and dressed in Trump campaign gear, repeating unfounded claims of election fraud, attacking Democratic leaders, and falsely claiming that Joe Biden is a socialist. 



a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera: President Trump Delivers Speech To Supporters From White House Balcony


© Samuel Corum / Getty Images
President Trump Delivers Speech To Supporters From White House Balcony

Trump speaks at first in-person event since COVID-19 diagnosis

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White House spokesman Judd Deere said the event was an “official” event, and “the campaign is not involved in this.” Anyone in attendance was invited by the White House, Deere said.

While using the White House for a partisan political event is a violation of the Hatch Act, Deere insisted Saturday’s event had “no Hatch Act implications” because it was run by the White House and not the campaign. 

The Hatch Act does not apply to the president or vice president, but does apply to any other executive branch officials who are involved. The president has been accused of repeatedly ignoring the act, most recently during the Republican National Convention. 

“This is another example I think of the myriad ways in which Donald Trump breaks the rules, and over time, people stop getting agitated about it because he breaks the rules all the time,” Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump told CBSN’s Lana Zak following the event. “Essentially, he is using taxpayer money to bolster his campaign.” 

The address was made from the balcony overlooking the South Lawn, where Candace Owens’ BLEXIT Foundation was hosting a pro-police rally. Mr. Trump specifically addressed the crowd, telling them their shirts are “beautiful” and that he wants to “put one of them on instead of this white shirt.”

“We have to have law and order,” Mr. Trump said. “I want to thank the BLEXIT Foundation for organizing this event, and especially your two founders, two friends of mine, great people Candace Owens and former Tucson police officer Brandon Tatum. Great job, what a great job. … Thank you very much for being here.” 

Owens tweeted on Saturday that the foundation helped pay for some attendees to travel to Washington, D.C. 

The address was listed on the official White House schedule as “remarks at a peaceful protest for law & order.” 

Virginia Representative Don Beyer, a Democrat, immediately criticized the president for the event, tweeting, “As Trump again uses the White House for a campaign speech, doubtless with the illegal use of taxpayer resources and funds, the Republican National Convention remains under investigation for Hatch Act violations.”



a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera: WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: Supporters cheer as they wait for U.S. President Donald Trump to address a rally in support of law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on October 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over two thousand guests to hear him speak just a week after he was hospitalized for COVID-19. / Credit: Samuel Corum / Getty Images


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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 10: Supporters cheer as they wait for U.S. President Donald Trump to address a rally in support of law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on October 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over two thousand guests to hear him speak just a week after

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Trump’s 2020 polls prove Democrats need to start planning for a Biden White House

Many years ago, George Mitchell, the Senate Democratic majority leader in the 1990s, told me, “The only people who believe the speeches of Republican senators are Democratic senators.”

I love my party. And I’m proud of what we stand for: equality, economic dignity, health care as a human right, among other things. But when it comes to practicing politics, the Democrats are a party ridden with crushing anxiety and self-doubt, even if the winds of fate are sailing entirely in our direction. Throughout the Trump era, I’ve seen us suffer time and again a terrible case of political amnesia.

The Democrats are a party ridden with crushing anxiety and self-doubt, even if the winds of fate are sailing entirely in our direction.

In 2016, Donald Trump got just over 46 percent of the vote, aided by Russia’s hacking and disinformation campaign, Jim Comey’s oh-so-necessary letter about Hillary Clinton’s email server and a tepid Democratic endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Yet even amid Clinton’s tornado of negative coverage, Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, winning the Electoral College by a freakish fraction of votes spread across three states. Since Trump was inaugurated, we’ve won governor’s races in all three of those states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. We elected the first Democratic senator from Arizona in decades, suburbs across the country have shifted against the president and in 2018, Democrats stormed to the majority in the House of Representatives by the largest voter margin in U.S. history.

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Now, it feels like the majority of people who believe Trump can win again in 2020 are Democrats, for better or for worse. And yet, Trump’s approval rating has never once peaked above 50 percent, even before Covid-19 — the only president to fail to reach that level since polls have measured presidential favorability. And now, because of his gross mishandling of the worst pandemic we’ve seen in a century, he has reduced his base support even further. As a result, I predict we will see a majority unite against him in a way not seen since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential election. I have never been more certain of something in my life. So, quell your fears, bed-wetting Democrats: 2016 is not 2020.

And that means this election is not just about defeating Trump. We also need to think about what comes next. Once the votes are tallied, I think we’re going to see a welcome unification of groups once thought to be separate: young liberals, veterans, suburban women, voters of color and seniors who witnessed the darkest flashpoints of our country’s history.

Dating back to April, I have been publicly bullish of a Democratic victory. This is the most consistent race I’ve seen — consistently bad for the Republicans. And this week, a slew of polling from NBC/Wall Street Journal and CNN only confirm my long held belief. While the CNN

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Hours after Trump’s dark and divisive White House speech, his doctor still won’t say if he’s tested negative

Seven hours after a defiant President Donald Trump resumed public events Saturday with a divisive speech from a White House balcony in front of hundreds of guests, his doctor released a memo clearing him to return to an active schedule.



President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump’s Saturday event, which featured little social distancing, came just two weeks after a large White House gathering that has since been called “a superpreader event” and potentially put lives at risk once again, just nine days after the President revealed his own Covid-19 diagnosis.

The latest memo from Trump’s physician, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, said that the President has met US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for “the safe discontinuation of isolation.” But it does not say Trump has received a negative coronavirus test since first testing positive for the virus, although that is not a criteria for clearing isolation, according to the CDC.



a group of people that are standing in the grass: Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


© Alex Brandon/AP
Judge Amy Coney Barrett walks to the microphone after President Donald Trump, right, announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“This evening I am happy to report that in addition to the President meeting CDC criteria for the safe discontinuation of isolation, this morning’s COVID PCR sample demonstrates, by currently recognized standards, he is no longer considered a transmission risk to others,” the memo from Conley reads in part.

That’s welcome news for Trump, who’s been itching to return to the campaign trail and has already planned three rallies for next week.

But the memo’s opacity, the inability for reporters to question the doctor and the fact that the White House still will not say when Trump last tested negative before his positive diagnosis only adds to the confusion over his case, which Trump has been eager to distract from.

After being sidelined from the campaign trail for more than a week, Trump leaned into his law-and-order message in a speech threaded with falsehoods on Saturday that was clearly a campaign rally disguised as a White House event.

Trump claimed that if the left gains power, they’ll launch a crusade against law enforcement. Echoing his highly inaccurate campaign ads that suggest that Democratic nominee Joe Biden would defund 911 operations and have a “therapist” answer calls about crime, Trump falsely claimed that the left is focused on taking away firearms, funds and authority from police.

With just three weeks to go until an election in which he’s trailing badly in the polls, and millions of voters already voting, Trump is deploying familiar scare tactics.

Biden has not made any proposals that would affect the ability to answer 911 calls. As CNN’s Facts First has noted many times, Biden has repeatedly and explicitly opposed the idea of “defunding the police,”

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Photos: Hundreds of supporters gather for Trump’s White House event

Ahead of President Trump’s first in-person event since his COVID-19 diagnosis, large crowds made their way to the White House’s grounds Saturday.

They gathered on the South Lawn, where Trump delivered a speech from the White House’s balcony. Hundreds attended the event.

Earlier today, the president’s supporters, donning “Make America Great Again” hats and blue “We The Free” t-shirts, rallied at The Ellipse, the park south of the White House lawn. Someattendees did not appear to be wearing masks.

The Trump campaign said all attendees would be given a temperature check and that the wearing of masks would be encouraged.

President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.DOUG MILLS/NYT
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.Doug Mills/NYT
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19. DOUG MILLS/NYT
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to  appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists.
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists. STEFANI REYNOLDS/NYT
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after being hospitalized for Covid-19, appeared briefly on Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of chanting supporters gathered at the White House.
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after being hospitalized for Covid-19, appeared briefly on Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of chanting supporters gathered at the White House. Stefani Reynolds/NYT
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
President Donald Trump supporters rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where President Trump will hold a rally in the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump supporters rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where President Trump will hold a rally in the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump receive pizza after a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump receive pizza after a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Conservative commentator and political activist Candace Owens speaks during a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where President Donald Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Conservative commentator and political activist Candace Owens speaks during a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where President Donald Trump will hold an event on
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Trump’s post-hospital White House appearance takes on campaign rally themes

Oct. 10 (UPI) — President Donald Trump turned his first post-COVID public appearance into a campaign rally on the White House South Lawn Saturday, nine days after was hospitalized for the coronavirus infection.

Thanking supporters for prayers and well wishes for himself and the first lady, within minutes Trump had referred to his Democratic presidential opponent as “Sleepy Joe Biden,” had boasted about the border wall and delivered other material typical of a campaign speech.

“We gotta vote these people into oblivion. Into oblivion. Gotta get rid of ’em. So bad for our country,” the president said.

About 400 people attended the invitation-only event. Trump called the event a peaceful protest for law and order and blamed the “radical Socialist Left” for civil unrest in U.S. cities this summer.

“Where there is evidence of wrongdoing by police, the criminal justice system must investigate and any perpetrators must be held accountable,” Trump said. “But we must never allow mob rule.”

Event organizers of Candace Owens’s BLEXIT Foundation paid for travel and lodging of some attendees and demanded that they wear matching shirts, ABC reported Saturday. Attendees were asked to wear masks, but were packed tightly together, not following social distancing guidelines.

Attendees were also scheduled to attend a pro-law enforcement rally in Washington, D.C.

The speech lasted about 18 minutes, much shorter than Trump’s usual campaign rally remarks, which can last more than an hour.

Trump, with flesh-colored bandages visible on his hands, downplayed his time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and said he was returning to the campaign trail.

“I feel great,” he said. “We are starting very, very big with our rallies and with our everything,” Trump promised. The president has rallies planned in Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa next week.

The speech ended with supporters chanting “four more years!” and Trump urging them to “get out and vote — and I love you.”

The president has not been seen in public other than in White House-released videos since his release from the hospital five days ago. The White House declined to say Saturday whether Trump was still potentially contagious from COVID-19 .

The last public event at the White House was the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to announce Supreme Court Justice candidate Amy Coney Barret’s nomination. Public health officials determined the gathering of more than 200 people was a “super-spreader” event which has been linked to dozens of COVID-19 infections, including those in Trump’s inner circle.

On Saturday, Trump campaign advisor and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced he had been released from the hospital following treatment for the coronavirus.

Joe Biden’s campaign said Saturday that he had again tested negative for the virus. Biden’s campaign has been releasing regular updates since Biden appeared on the same Cleveland stage as Trump in a debate on Sept. 29.

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Trump’s first public address since COVID-19 diagnosis had hallmarks of a campaign event at the White House

President Trump’s first public appearance since he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis appeared to be an unofficial rally at the White House. On Saturday, Mr. Trump addressed hundreds of supporters closely gathered and dressed in Trump campaign gear, repeating unfounded claims of election fraud, attacking Democratic leaders, and falsely claiming that Joe Biden is a socialist. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the event was an “official” event, and “the campaign is not involved in this.” Anyone in attendance was invited by the White House, Deere said.

While using the White House for a partisan political event is a violation of the Hatch Act, Deere insisted Saturday’s event had “no Hatch Act implications” because it was run by the White House and not the campaign. 

The Hatch Act does not apply to the president or vice president, but does apply to any other executive branch officials who are involved. The president has been accused of repeatedly ignoring the act, most recently during the Republican National Convention. 

“This is another example I think of the myriad ways in which Donald Trump breaks the rules, and over time, people stop getting agitated about it because he breaks the rules all the time,” Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump told CBSN’s Lana Zak following the event. “Essentially, he is using taxpayer money to bolster his campaign.” 

The address was made from the balcony overlooking the South Lawn, where Candace Owens’ BLEXIT Foundation was hosting a pro-police rally. Mr. Trump specifically addressed the crowd, telling them their shirts are “beautiful” and that he wants to “put one of them on instead of this white shirt.”

“We have to have law and order,” Mr. Trump said. “I want to thank the BLEXIT Foundation for organizing this event, and especially your two founders, two friends of mine, great people Candace Owens and former Tucson police officer Brandon Tatum. Great job, what a great job. … Thank you very much for being here.” 

Owens tweeted on Saturday that the foundation helped pay for some attendees to travel to Washington, D.C. 

The address was listed on the official White House schedule as “remarks at a peaceful protest for law & order.” 

Virginia Representative Don Beyer, a Democrat, immediately criticized the president for the event, tweeting, “As Trump again uses the White House for a campaign speech, doubtless with the illegal use of taxpayer resources and funds, the Republican National Convention remains under investigation for Hatch Act violations.”

President Trump Delivers Speech To Supporters From White House Balcony
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 10: Supporters cheer as they wait for U.S. President Donald Trump to address a rally in support of law and order on the South Lawn of the White House on October 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump invited over two thousand guests to hear him speak just a week after he was hospitalized for COVID-19.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images


During the event, Mr. Trump continuously remarked on the election, telling attendees that “we got to vote these people into oblivion.” 

“Democrats have run nearly every

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