US President Donald Trump will make his first official public appearance since he tested positive for COVID-19 by giving remarks to supporters at the White House on Saturday. He will then hold a rally in Florida two days later, marking a long-awaited return to the campaign trail for the president.
Hundreds of guests have been invited to the White House for the event, despite concerns about a ceremony in the Rose Garden last month that may have been the catalyst for the viral outbreak that has ripped through Trump’s staff.
A White House official said Trump will address the crowd from a balcony. All are expected to wear masks.
On Monday night, Trump will stage his first campaign rally since his coronavirus diagnosis in Sanford, Florida, a state crucial to his re-election hopes. He will speak at the event at the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Attendees will be given a temperature check, masks that they will be encouraged to wear and access to hand sanitizer, according to Trump’s campaign team.
Since returning to the White House on Monday evening, Trump has not been seen in public. In a series of lengthy phone interviews, he said he is ready to end his Covid isolation and emerge onto the campaign trail.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president was hard at work and ready to go as soon as he got approval from his doctor, telling Fox News, “He wants to talk to the American people, and he wants to be out there.”
Questions remain about whether Trump, who announced on October 2 he had the virus and spent three nights in a military hospital, is still contagious.
The illness has kept the Republican president from holding public rallies and attending fundraisers at a critical juncture of the campaign. He trails Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls with just weeks to go before the November 3 election.