Donald Trump will hold his first public event since COVID on White House South Lawn


President Donald Trump will hold a public gathering on the White House South Lawn on Saturday with hundreds of people for his first event since being diagnosed with the coronavirus and then will travel to Florida on Monday for a campaign rally. 

Trump is expected to give remarks on Saturday from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which will include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, The New York Times and ABC News reported.

Then he’ll go to Sanford, Florida, on Monday, for a Make America Great Again campaign rally, his re-election campaign announced.

Trump was originally scheduled to go to Sanford on the Friday he tested positive for COVID. 

The events were scheduled after Trump’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, stated in a update late Thursday that Trump’s medical team felt that he would be safe to return to public engagements by Saturday. 

Saturday would mark nine days since Trump publicly announced testing positive for COVID-19.

Most scientists think that viral shedding continues for about 10 days after symptoms start in mild to moderate cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

The Rose Garden, just off the South Lawn, was the site of a superspreader event in late September when Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Comey Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

The September 26 gathering attracted around 100 people – many of them not wearing face masks; all sitting close.

Those who tested positive and were at the event included President Donald Trump, first lady Melania, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies, former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, two senators – Mike Lee from Utah and Thom Tillis from North Carolina – plus the president of Notre Dame university, John Jenkins.

Dr. Anthony Fauci described that event as a superspreader. 

‘I think the data speak for themselves,’ Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country, told CBS News Radio on Friday. ‘We had a superspreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.’

Trump has been restless and eager to get back to the campaign trail after being sidelined with COVID. 

But with an event of Saturday’s size and with Monday’s rally he will also face questions about his treatment of people’s health at time he’s being criticized for having a cavalier attitude about the pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans. 

The president has been trying to project a picture of health after his diagnosis and as he trails Joe Biden in the polls with Election Day less than a month away. 

‘I feel perfect,’ the president told Rush Limbaugh on Friday afternoon. 

President Donald Trump will hold a public gathering on the White House South Lawn on Saturday with hundreds of people for his first event since being diagnosed with COVID

The September 26 nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court became a COVID superspreader event

The September 26 nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court became a COVID superspreader event

President Trump will go to Sanford, Florida, on Monday, for a Make America Great Again campaign rally that he was originally scheduled to go to Sanford on the Friday he tested positive for COVID; above Trump speaks at rally in Minnesota on September 30 - his last before his COVID diagnosis

President Trump will go to Sanford, Florida, on Monday, for a Make America Great Again campaign rally that he was originally scheduled to go to Sanford on the Friday he tested positive for COVID; above Trump speaks at rally in Minnesota on September 30 – his last before his COVID diagnosis

Trump has been doing a series of telephone interviews and will go on-camera to prove his health on Friday with an interview that will air on Fox News Channel.

Dr. Marc Siegel, who has compared COVID to the flu and said there is ‘no science’ behind the call to wear face masks, will speak to the president for Tucker Carlson’s show at 8 p.m. ET.

Trump will be on camera at the White House while Siegel will be in New York, speaking to the president via a remote, the network announced. The interview will be pre-taped, which means edits could be made to it before it airs.

The president has not been seen live by the public since Monday, when he returned from Walter Reed Medical Center. He has done two phone interviews: with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo and Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday. In those conversations, his voice sounded scratchy. He coughed a couple of times when speaking to Hannity.

Trump also has posted videos to his Twitter page but the two posted Thursday were taped on Wednesday – thus were a day old – and, in them, Trump is positioned many yards away from the White House, which can be seen somewhat blurry in the background. A video posted Wednesday was shot on Tuesday and drew many comments about the president’s dark face make-up.

Meanwhile, the White House said it hasn’t revealed the last time Trump tested negative for COVID because Trump didn’t sign away his privacy rights when he became president. 

‘The president doesn’t check all of his HIPAA rights at the door just when he becomes president,’ White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern told MSNBC on Friday. ‘The doctors obviously share fulsome information with the president. The president shares a great deal of information with the American public.’

Any medical personnel treating any patient is prohibited by federal law from disclosing the person’s personal health information without consent under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA. 

Conley notes he releases any information about the president’s condition with his patient’s approval. 

‘I release the following information with the permission of President Donald J. Trump,’ is at the top of every memo Conley sends out on the president’s health. 

In the interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Trump said that he had not been tested for coronavirus because there was ‘no reason yet’ but that he would probably get a test on Friday. 

President Donald Trump will go on-camera to prove his health on Friday with an interview that will air on Fox News Channel

President Donald Trump will go on-camera to prove his health on Friday with an interview that will air on Fox News Channel

Dr. Marc Siegel, who has compared COVID to the flu and said there is 'no science' behind the call to wear face masks, will speak to the president for Tucker Carlson's show at 8 p.m. ET

Dr. Marc Siegel, who has compared COVID to the flu and said there is ‘no science’ behind the call to wear face masks, will speak to the president for Tucker Carlson’s show at 8 p.m. ET

Dr. Marc Siegel interviewed President Trump at the White House in July

Dr. Marc Siegel interviewed President Trump at the White House in July

The president has sought to assert his power and present an image of a man in charge and control as he battles the deadly disease.

He was in the Oval Office on Wednesday and Thursday, despite still being contagious for COVID. His chief of staff Mark Meadows and deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino wore PPE when they were in the office with him. 

And Trump has been eager to get back on the campaign trail with less than a month to go before the election.  Polls show him trailing rival Joe Biden by double digits.   

He told Limbaugh on Friday he was no longer taking any medication for COVID, a change from what he said the day before. 

Trump said Thursday he was off all treatment except for dexamethasone, a powerful steroid which can cause insomnia, mania, mood swings, and rage. It has shown promise for treating patients with a severe case of COVID-19 who are getting supplemental oxygen.

Some doctors and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have expressed concern the steroid could affect the president’s mental state given its side effects, citing some erratic behavior from Trump, including a storm of tweets posted over two days and announcing on Twitter he was pulling out of the COVID relief talks, which sent the stock market tanking.

Now Trump said he’s no longer taking any medication for his coronavirus.

‘I’m not taking anything you know. I’m off any regimen that they gave me,’ he said.

He also claimed that an experimental anti-viral drug he took from Regeneron was a ‘cure’ for the coronavirus.

‘I’m telling you we have a cure, more than just a therapeutic we have a cure,’ the president told Limbaugh.

‘This is stuff that is so good. It just wiped out the virus and wiped it out,’ he claimed. 

‘I’m telling you this is a, a total game changer. It’s so good,’ he said. ‘This is the greatest of them all if this works out and I’m very sure it’s going to.’

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Duluth International Airport on September 30; it was his last rally before his COVID diagnosis

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Duluth International Airport on September 30; it was his last rally before his COVID diagnosis

On Thursday evening, White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley released Trump’s vital signs for the first time since he became infected, showing a pulse, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level all within normal ranges.

Conley also stated that Trump’s medical team felt that he would be safe to return to public engagements by Saturday. 

Soon after Conley’s memo was released, Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien issued a statement citing it and demanded that the Commission on Presidential Debates reverse its decision earlier in the day to hold next week’s presidential debate virtually.

Stepien, who himself tested positive for COVID-19 last week, said that Conley’s note confirms that Trump will be ready for public engagements ‘five full days before the originally scheduled debate in Miami on October 15.’

‘There is therefore no medical reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates should shift the debate to a virtual setting,’ he added, referring to the commission’s ruling earlier in the day.

‘The commission must stop protecting Joe Biden from this in-person debate and allow the event to proceed as it was agreed to months ago,’ Stepien said, calling it an ‘obvious attempt to shield Biden from another shellacking like he got two weeks ago in Cleveland.’

The chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates said it is not reconsidering shifting the second debate from virtual back to in-person, despite Stepien’s request.

CPD Chair Frank Fahrenkopf said late Thursday that the nonpartisan group’s decision was not going to be reversed. That means the second debate is probably not going to happen at all, after Trump said he would refuse to participate in a virtual debate.

Fahrenkopf says the group wanted to ‘protect the health and safety of all involved’ and that the decision was guided by the advice of the Cleveland Clinic, its heath partner for the 2020 debates. 

President Donald Trump 's doctor says he will be able to return to 'public engagements' on Saturday, which would be just over a week after he revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis

President Donald Trump ‘s doctor says he will be able to return to ‘public engagements’ on Saturday, which would be just over a week after he revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis

Trump on Thursday vowed that he would not participate in a virtual debate with Joe Biden, jokingly challenging Biden to an in-person debate moderated by Hannity or Tucker Carlson

Trump on Thursday vowed that he would not participate in a virtual debate with Joe Biden, jokingly challenging Biden to an in-person debate moderated by Hannity or Tucker Carlson

‘This debate commission’s a joke,’ Trump said in a phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night. ‘I’m not interested in doing a — I’m not Joe Biden, I’m not doing a virtual debate.’

‘I’m not going to sit behind a computer and have somebody feed him answers,’ he added.

Trump’s list of dream debate moderators 

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump proposed the following debate moderators:

  • ‘The great Sean Hannity’
  • Rush Limbaugh 
  • Mark Levin
  • Jeanine Piro
  • Jesse Watters
  • Pete Hegseth
  • Tucker Carlson 

Trump claimed that Biden ‘was choking like a dog’ during the first presidential debate last week, and that moderator Chris Wallace ‘bailed him in, or bailed him out.’

Apparently jokingly, Trump suggested that the two campaigns organize their own in-person debate, suggesting Fox News opinion hosts Hannity and Tucker Carlson as potential moderators. ‘Let’s go Joe. Let’s get a fair moderator,’ Trump said. 

Trump was first diagnosed with COVID-19 last Thursday, and was moved to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday before returning to the White House on Monday evening. 

‘Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggested progression of illness,’ Conley said in a memo released by the White House on Thursday night.

‘Overall he’s responded extremely well to treatment, without evidence on examination of adverse therapeutic effects,’ Conley added. 

‘Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagements at that time.’ 

The memo showed Trump’s resting pulse was 69 beats per minute, which is considered a good rate for his age. 

His blood pressure of 127/81 mm Hg is slightly elevated over normal levels, but does not qualify a hypertensive.

White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley also released Trump's vital signs for the first time since he became infected, showing vitals all within normal ranges

White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley also released Trump’s vital signs for the first time since he became infected, showing vitals all within normal ranges

Conley said that Trump’s breathing rate was normal, and that his blood oxygen level was 96 to 98 percent without supplemental oxygen, which is well within the normal range.

Curiously, the memo did not include Trump’s body temperature. Last week, Trump reportedly spiked a fever, and his blood oxygen level dropped alarmingly, leading to his transfer to Walter Reed. 

The memo also did not say whether Trump had tested negative for COVID-19.  

HOW LONG ARE COVID-19 PATIENTS CONTAGIOUS AND WHAT MAKES THEM INFECTIOUS?

By Natalie Rahhal, US Health Editor 

President Trump’s physician Dr Sean Conley first reported he had ‘mild’ symptoms of coronavirus on Friday morning, hours after the president revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Despite Wednesday’s report that he has no symptoms, Trump is still likely contagious, because less than a week has passed since he became ill. 

It may take anywhere from three to 14 days after someone is exposed to coronavirus for symptoms to show up. 

The average person will develop symptoms within four to five days. 

It’s now clear that a person can spread coronavirus before they actually show any signs of having the illness. 

Most research now suggests that can start happening between 48 and 72 hours before their symptoms begin. 

A COVID-19 patient becomes infectious to others once the virus has made enough copies to give them a higher viral load, meaning there is a sufficiently significant concentration of virus genome in their mucus and saliva to potentially spread it. 

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spray droplets into the air, and these droplets can be be inhaled by others. 

Pinning down exactly how early someone becomes contagious, when they are at their peak infectiousness, and when they are no longer contagious is extremely difficult. 

Many studies suggest that people most infectious right around the time their symptoms start. A handful have found people were actually most infectious in the 48 hours before they become contagious, according to Harvard University.  

That early infectious period is part of why coronavirus is so hard to control: People cna spread the disease before they know they have it. 

And the infectious period lasts a long time. Most scientists think that viral shedding continues for about 10 days after symptoms start in mild to moderate cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

But some more severely ill people stay infectious for up to 20 days. 

Large virus-containing droplets expelled when coronavirus patients cough or sneeze are still thought to be the primary mode of transmission. 

That means that being symptomatic makes someone more likely to spread the disease. 

CDC officials have now confirmed the virus can spread in fine particles, too, acknowledging how it is transmitted even by people with no symptoms.  

In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Trump seemed to give two possibilities for how he contracted the deadly disease – either at a Rose Garden event where he announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nomination or a celebration for Gold Star families held at the White House. Several people from both of those of those events have tested positive for COVID.

‘Now, as far as the White House is concerned, somebody got in,’ he said when asked how he caught the disease. ‘It was a day of celebration with Notre Dame etc etc and somebody got in and people got affected, whether it was there or something else.’

Barrett attended Notre Dame and the university’s president, Rev. John Jenkins, attended the announcement and later tested positive for COVID.

‘I meet a lot of people and I have to – I’m the president of the country. I can’t hang around in a basement. So I figured there would be a chance that I would catch it,’ Trump said, using his attack line against Democratic rival Joe Biden, who he complains stays in a basement even as Biden campaigns. 

‘Sometimes I’d be with in groups of – for instance Gold Star families I met with,’ he said referring to a September 27 at the White House. The chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and several high-ranking military officials are quarantining after attending it.

‘I didn’t want to cancel that,’ Trump said.  

He said the families – who have lost a member in service to the country – wanted to hug and kiss him and he let them.

‘They come within an inch of my face sometimes. They want to hug me and they want to kiss me. And they do. And frankly, I’m not telling them, ‘Back up,’ he said, conceding ‘it’s a dangerous thing, I guess, if you go by the COVID thing.’ 

He also appeared to cast doubt on wearing a face masks, which doctors said helps contain the disease and slow the spread. He referred to Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, who is a doctor who wore a face mask in public and caught COVID.

‘Look, you have the governor of Virginia – he wore a mask all the time – you’ve never seen a guy without a mask – he catches it,’ Trump said. 

THE TOLL OF COVID FROM SCOTUS NOMINEE EVENT

 1. President Donald Trump, 74; 2. First Lady Melania Trump, 50; 3. Fr. John Jenkins, 66. President of the University of Notre Dame; 4. Mike Lee, 49. Republican Utah Senator; 5. Thom Tillis, 60. Republican North Carolina Senator;  6. Kellyanne Conway, 53, Former White House Counselor to the President; 7.  Chris Christie, 58. Former New Jersey Governor; 8.  Kayleigh McEnany, 32. White House Press Secretary;  9. Chad Gilmartin. Assistant Press Secretary, 22.  10. Karoline Leavitt, 23. Assistant Press Secretary. 11. Pastor Greg Laurie, 67. Harvest Crusades televangelist.

* Bill Barr, 70: self-isolating out of caution. 

AT EVENT AND STOOD AT BACK OF ROSE GARDEN

12. Hope Hicks, 31. Counselor to the President; 13. Bill Stepien, 42. Trump Campaign Manager; 14. Nicholas Luna, 29. Chief of Oval Office Operations and ‘body man’; 15. Unnamed White House reporter

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk