President Trump held his first public event since contracting the novel coronavirus, gathering a crowd of hundreds of supporters at the White House on Saturday despite providing no evidence that he was no longer infectious.
It marked the beginning of what aides have described as a triumphant return to campaigning for reelection after his hospitalization — and a sign that the virus that rocked Trump’s campaign and infected much of the West Wing has not changed his combative and defiant approach to governing.
“We’re starting very, very big with the rallies, and with our everything,” Trump told the crowded group of conservative activists while standing on a balcony. “Because we cannot allow our country to become a socialist nation.”
After being confined to the White House and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since his Oct. 1 positive test for the coronavirus, Trump is scheduled to begin a frenetic stretch of rallies up through Nov. 3. On Saturday, Trump’s campaign announced rallies in Pennsylvania and Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, following a previously announced rally in Florida on Monday.
But how Trump will travel the country safely remains in question. Trump said Friday on Fox News that he had been tested for the virus but did not know if he is still infected.