Just over a week after testing positive for the coronavirus, President Donald Trump headed back to the campaign trail on Saturday, Oct. 10 by inviting hundreds of attendees to the White House. The 18-minute rally quickly incited backlash, largely because it's still unknown whether or not the president is still contagious. People were not happy with the decision, and these tweets about Trump’s first event after getting coronavirus do not hold back.
While Trump has yet to make public the results of a coronavirus test he took on Friday, Oct. 9, he disregarded social distancing guidelines by reportedly inviting 2,000 people to his first rally since contracting the virus. According to numerous news sources, about 400-500 people showed up. The CDC advises that public gatherings be kept as small as possible, with individuals from the same community wearing masks and remaining six feet apart. Large gatherings that aren't spaced out and include people traveling from outside the local area are considered at the highest risk of spreading coronavirus. Trump's public appearance, which was his first since leaving Walter Reed Hospital that Monday, focused on his messaging on law and order while courting Black and Latino supporters. Elite Daily reached out to White House reps for comment on whether the event followed CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the event lasted only 18 minutes — considerably shorter than his regular rallies, which typically go around 90 minutes — Trump was seen removing his mask as he spoke to his supporters from the Blue Room balcony overlooking the South Lawn. "I'm feeling great, I don't know about you," Trump told his supporters, adding, "We've got to vote these people into oblivion."
The event, which had been billed as a "peaceful protest for law and order," focused on law enforcement while appealing to minority voters.
"In order to protect the lives of Black Americans and all Americans, you have to have your police support you," Trump told the crowd. "Every day more Black and Latino Americans are leaving behind left-wing politicians and their failed ideology."
Critics were quick to note that while the event focused on Trump's self-branded image as a "law and order" candidate, he may have actually been violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal government employees other than the president and vice president from engaging in political campaigning, by holding a campaign event at the White House. Elite Daily reached out to White House reps for response to the accusations that the event violated the Hatch Act, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Many also criticized the president for holding what could potentially become a super spreader event in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak at the White House and his comments that the coronavirus was "just going to disappear."
In an interview with Fox News the morning after his event, Trump appeared to suggest that he no longer has coronavirus, although there is no confirmation that he's tested negative. "It seems like I'm immune, so I can go way out of a basement," he said. "The president is in very good shape to fight the battles. I beat this crazy horrible China virus... I passed the highest test, the highest standards, and I'm in great shape. And I have to tell you I feel fantastically. I really feel good." Elite Daily reached out to White House reps for clarification on Trump's current health status, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the president is no longer scheduled to appear at the second presidential debate on Oct. 15, it looks like he's heading back to the campaign trail sooner than expected.