Trump sent more than 2,000 invitations for an event on the White House lawn on Saturday.

Trump sent more than 2,000 invitations for an event on the White House lawn on Saturday.


President Trump is planning to host up to 2,000 people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.

The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd. More than 2,000 invitations went out for the event, according to one official.

The event, which was previously reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention in August.

Some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern that the event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier about a virus that has killed over 213,000 Americans.

The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio on Friday that there had been “a super spreader event in the White House,” noting that people had crowded together there without wearing masks.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey who had attended the Rose Garden event and had huddled with the president and his close advisers during debate preparations, said in a tweet that he had been released from the hospital on Saturday morning, one week after testing positive for the coronavirus. Mr. Christie, who has a history of asthma, said last week that he had checked himself into Morristown Medical Center in consultation with his doctors.

One person familiar with the planning for the White House event said that all attendees would be required to bring and wear a mask, and that they would have to submit to a temperature check and a fill out a questionnaire.

Mr. Trump is also planning to hit the campaign trail again, even as outside medical experts caution that doing so could pose risks to himself and others: The campaign announced that he would deliver remarks at a “Make America Great Again” event at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday.

Attendees at the Florida event will be asked to sign a disclaimer stating that “you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.”

After the president staged his acceptance speech on the South Lawn during the Republican National Convention in August, the president joked about the agitation he had caused among his critics about how he may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job, by using the White House grounds for political purposes.

He said he thought he would do it more.

Outside medical experts said that resuming public duties might worsen Mr. Trump’s condition, which could still deteriorate in the next several days. Covid-19 patients can take turns for the worse during the second week of illness.

Then there are the potential risks Mr. Trump could pose to others. According to C.D.C. guidelines, people with mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 most likely “remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset.”

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said on Thursday that Mr. Trump could safely “return to public engagements” on Saturday — a timeline that was questioned by outside experts.





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