Trump’s Marks COVID Comeback With Limp Balcony Speech to Hundreds
Almond Ngan / AFP via Getty
Donald Trump invited hundreds of people outside the White House to his first in-person event since COVID-19 closed on Saturday - but his administration wouldn't say if he's still infected with the virus.
"We have to let these people fall into oblivion," Trump told the crowd in a short 18-minute speech from a White House balcony, which was far shorter than his typical meeting addresses.
The in-person event marked Trump's return to the campaign spotlight after he announced his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalized at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland on Oct.2.
Trump has appeared in several conservative media outlets and plans to hold rallies in Florida on Monday, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and Iowa on Wednesday.
The previous Saturday, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah refused to tell reporters whether Trump is virus-free.
The rally crowd was set back from the balcony where Trump appeared. Participants had their temperatures checked and were asked to wear masks, according to the White House. More than 2,000 people were reportedly invited to the event, but fewer attended.
The event was organized by the right-wing figure Candace Owens and her Blexit group, which calls on black voters to quit the Democratic Party.
Almond Ngan / Getty
The White House called the event a "peaceful protest for law and order". Pro-Trump personalities recently adopted the terminology "peaceful protest" as a stab at protests against Black Lives Matter during the pandemic, claiming that MAGA protests are legal given COVID-19 restrictions on size gathering.
Trump mostly repeated his usual meeting lines on his balcony appearance, promoting the economy and warning that "we will never allow our country to become a socialist nation". The crowd cheered and sang "another four years" and "we love you".
"I love you too," Trump said before turning back to the White House.
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