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President Donald Trump plans to hold an outdoor event at the White House on Saturday with “hundreds” of people in attendance while he is still sick with COVID-19, outlets including ABC News and The New York Times reported on Friday.
ABC and The Times said that Trump is set to give an outdoor speech from one of the White House balconies to a group of supporters attending a separate event hosted by conservative commentator and Trump supporter Candance Owens.
Trump also wants to hold a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday, the Washington Post reported.
Trump, who was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center over the weekend, is still infected with the virus.
Trump first tested positive for COVID-19 late last Thursday, October 1, and announced that he and First Lady Melania had tested positive for the disease shortly before 1 a.m. on October 2.
The Times reported that “some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern about what the president might say in his remarks at the Saturday event” and “feared the entire event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier” about the coronavirus.
Trump did a photo op from a White House balcony, in which he removed his face mask to wave at the cameras, upon his return from Walter Reed to the White House on Monday.
The most recent large gathering the White House hosted was an event on September 26 to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. While the event was held outdoors in the Rose Garden, many attendees did not wear masks and closely interacted with eachother.
Multiple people who attended the gathering, including the President and First Lady, two US Senators, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former White House aide Kayleigh McEnany, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the president of Notre Dame University, tested positive for COVID-19 afterwards.
A number of other White House staff, including ones who did not attend the Rose Garden event, also subsequently tested positive for the disease, leading Dr. Anthony Fauci to describe it as a “superspreader” event in a Friday interview with CBS News.
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Source:: Business Insider