October 9, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
Trump planning to speak at outdoor White House event Saturday
By Colby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey
Trump will resume public events this weekend, beginning with an outdoor speech at the White House, an administration official said.
The president will address a previously scheduled event Saturday afternoon organized by conservative Black activist Candace Owens. Trump will speak to supporters from the balcony as they gather on the South Lawn. White House aides said social distancing and masks will be encouraged but not required.
ABC News first reported the plans and obtained an invitation to the event that described it as “remarks to peaceful protesters for law and order.” Trump began calling his campaign rallies “peaceful protests” as a dig at the racial justice demonstrations over the summer that attracted large crowds.
The gathering will occur exactly two weeks after the Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, which Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor, referred to Friday as a “superspreader event,” after at least 11 people who attended the event tested positive for the coronavirus.
Trump first reported testing positive for the virus early on Oct. 2. Since then, at least 34 people who work at or attended events at the White House have tested positive as well.
The president has not publicly disclosed a negative test for the coronavirus, although his physician, Sean Conley, said Thursday night that he expected Trump to be well enough to resume public engagements by Saturday.
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