Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Trump Holds 1st Rally Since Contracting Coronavirus
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
October 13, 2020

Share

SANFORD, Florida — Just a week after his release from the hospital, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Monday for the first time since contracting the coronavirus, resuming his effort to stage a late comeback in the election’s final stretch.

“It’s great to be back in my home state, Florida, to make my official return to the campaign trail,” Trump declared in front of a crowd of thousands of supporters, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, mostly without masks, despite the ongoing pandemic.

Trump said that, after being given experimental medication and other VIP treatment, he’s feeling great and glad he no longer needs to be concerned about infection because he’s now “immune.”

Trump: ‘I Feel So Powerful’

“I feel so powerful,” said Trump, displaying no obvious signs of lingering infection. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women … everybody. I’ll just give ya a big fat kiss.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Monday on CNN that those who recover from COVID-19 are likely to be immune for a limited period of time, but there are cases emerging of people getting reinfected weeks or months later.

With three weeks to go before Election Day, Trump — whose doctor said Monday for the first time that he had received a negative test for COVID-19 — is pushing to correct a stubborn deficit in national and battleground state polling as he continues to spread misinformation about a virus that he spent months downplaying.

That includes in Florida, which is seen as critical to his reelection chances. Trump narrowly beat his 2016 rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the state by just over 112,000 votes. Some recent polls have suggested a close race in the state, while others have put Democrat Joe Biden ahead.

Other Campaign Events This Week

Trump’s Sanford rally was his first stop in a busy week that will include events in Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The robust schedule underscored the urgency he is facing to recover from a series of self-inflicted setbacks that have rattled his base of support and triggered alarm among Republicans who fear the White House is on the verge of being lost to Biden.

And it comes amid still-unanswered questions about the impact so much travel so soon could have on the 74-year-old president’s health. The progression of COVID-19 is often unpredictable, and there can be long-term complications.

After Air Force One lifted off from Joint Base Andrews, the president’s doctor released an update on his health that said Trump had tested negative for the virus — and had done so on consecutive days. His doctor, Navy Cmdr. Scott Conley, said that the tests, taking in conjunction with other data, including viral load, have led him to conclude that Trump was not contagious.

For days, the White House had sidestepped questions about whether Trump had tested negative. Conley over the weekend said that the president met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards,” Trump was no longer considered a transmission risk.

Quick Return to Stump Draws Criticism

Some medical experts, however, have voiced skepticism that Trump could be declared contagion-free so soon. And it was unclear what — if any — added precautions and safety measures the campaign planned to take to prevent the trip from further spreading a virus that has already infected so many of the president’s closest aides and allies, including his campaign manager and the head of the Republican Party.

Trump’s decision to so quickly return to the campaign trail drew criticism from Biden and other Democrats.

“President Trump comes to Sanford today bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric, and fear mongering,” Biden said in a statement. “But, equally dangerous is what he fails to bring: no plan to get this virus that has taken the lives of over 15,000 Floridians under control.”

Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat who is running for state Senate and who recently recovered from his own COVID-19 infection, said in a conference call with reporters that Trump should not be coming to Florida.

“It’s reckless and irresponsible,” Jones said.

Fauci also questioned the wisdom of holding such an event, noting the climbing test positivity rates in parts of the Sun Belt.

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Fauci said.

Trump has been eager to show the world that he is no longer sidelined by a virus that he has consistently played down and that has killed 215,000 people across the nation, including more than 15,000 in Florida.

Trump Mocks Biden for Encouraging Social Distancing

Indeed, Trump on Monday continued to mock Biden for his efforts to encourage social distancing at his campaign events, deriding as “crazy” the circles Biden’s campaign uses to delineate individual space.

“He’s got a lot of bad days coming,” Trump said at another point.

Since his release from a military hospital after three days of around-the-clock care that included access to experimental antibody treatments unavailable to the public, Trump has used his personal experience to try to convince the public that he was right all along.

He has repeatedly told Americans who contract the virus that they’re “going to get better really fast,” although hundreds of people in the U.S. die of the virus every day.

Trump held his first public event since his diagnosis on Saturday, addressing a crowd of hundreds of people on the South Lawn from a White House balcony. Appearing without a mask and with bandages still visible on his hands, likely from intravenous injections, Trump spoke for just 18 minutes — far less than his usual campaign rallies, which can last upwards of 90 minutes.

He told the crowd the virus is “disappearing,” even as cases have been on the rise.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

DON'T MISS

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

DON'T MISS

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

DON'T MISS

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

DON'T MISS

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

DON'T MISS

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

DON'T MISS

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

DON'T MISS

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

DON'T MISS

Vital Climate Tool or License to Pollute? The Battle Over CA’s First Carbon Capture Project

DON'T MISS

Boeing in the Spotlight as Congress Calls a Whistleblower to Testify About Defects in Planes

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

51 mins ago

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

1 hour ago

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

1 hour ago

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

1 hour ago

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

2 hours ago

Vital Climate Tool or License to Pollute? The Battle Over CA’s First Carbon Capture Project

2 hours ago

Boeing in the Spotlight as Congress Calls a Whistleblower to Testify About Defects in Planes

2 hours ago

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

2 hours ago

Senate Will Convene the Mayorkas Impeachment Trial as Democrats Plot a Quick Dismissal

2 hours ago

State Will Monitor Crop-Rich Kings County Region to Preserve Groundwater

2 hours ago

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The desert nation of the United Arab Emirates attempted to dry out Wednesday from the heaviest rain ever recor...

20 mins ago

20 mins ago

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

23 mins ago

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

27 mins ago

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

51 mins ago

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

1 hour ago

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

1 hour ago

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

1 hour ago

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

2 hours ago

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend