Trump Holds First Public Protest After Being Hospitalized for COVID-19

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Trump hold first public protest outside The White House since contracting COVID-19

Liz Spiering, Social Media Editor

Not even two weeks after President Trump contracted COVID-19, he held his first public protest on Oct. 10, on the balcony of the White House, focusing on the Black and Latino community and how he plans on supporting law enforcement. The speech Trump gave to the public lasted a little less than twenty minutes; as he took off his face mask and started it off by saying, “I’m feeling great, I don’t know about you.”

President Trump contracted COVID-19 on Friday Oct. 2, however, according to the LA Times, Trump’s medical team said he was sick a day and a half before his announcement; potentially exposing this virus to multiple people he came in contact with during Wednesday and Thursday fundraisers. In the same article for the LA Times, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, a Johns Hopkins pulmonologist, said that Trump “received experimental antibody therapy midday Thursday”, meaning Trump knew of his sickness before he made a public announcement. Vice President Mike Pence and the Second Lady Karen Pence have tested negative for coronavirus Saturday morning. Joe Biden and his wife had to test themselves due to their proximity to Trump during the first debate. He tweeted shortly after Trump’s COVID-19 announcement, that he and his wife have tested negative and are taking the right precautions to ensure public safety and their own. 

According to USA Today, one of his main focuses of this rally was to bring to light recent issues with supporting police and have the police support us if we want to protect not only Black Americans, but all Americans. Because of the recent protests that have consumed our country over the unjust killing of   Black men and women by the hands of police officers, Trump argues that it’s important for the Black community to support law enforcement. “Every day more Black and Latino Americans are leaving behind left-wing politicians and their failed ideology,” Trump stated. He shared with the audience the economic initiatives to support the Black community then continued to attack his opponent, Joe Biden. 

Trump stated, “Sleepy Joe Biden has betrayed Black and Latino Americans. If you think he can run this country, you’re wrong.” He added that Biden doesn’t have the support of law enforcement and would end up defending the police. Trump continued by stating, “If the left gains power, they will launch a nationwide crusade against law enforcement and they’ve already done that.” On the contrary, according to ABC News, Biden’s campaign focuses on expanding the Affordable Care Act, mandating a mask to protect Americans in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, and would pour money into community-based policing; he also doesn’t plan on defunding the police. As shared by BBC, Biden states “We don’t have to defund the police department. We have to make sure they meet minimum basic standards of decency.” Biden also advocates to provide mental health experts for the police to better address community needs.

Hundreds of people attended this public event, even though COVID-19 still remains a threat and most attendees didn’t practice social distancing or wear masks. As you can see in the video here, there is less than 6ft of distance between the attendees. Grace Segers, from CBS News, stated in her article that a source planning this event that 2,000 invitations were issued. It’s still unknown if Trump tested negative before holding this rally, although he sounded fine with no coughing or shortness of breath. During his speech, Trump said “I didn’t have a problem with breathing, which a lot of people seemed to have. I had none of that. I didn’t feel very strong. I didn’t feel very vital. I didn’t feel like the president of the U.S. should feel.”

Trump continued his public protests and tweeted on Saturday his plans to be in Sanford, Florida for a “very BIG RALLY” on Monday, Oct. 12. He has already come into contact with multiple people while fighting the virus, passing it along to some of his personal team members and his wife, according to BBC News. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  still advises that we practice social distancing and continue to wear face masks to maintain the spread of the virus. For more information about ways to maintain social distancing and prevent yourself from contracting COVID-19, read this article here provided by the CDC.