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It’s officially on …
President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold his first post-coronavirus-diagnosis mini rally this Saturday afternoon at the White House, according to reports.
Dubbed a “peaceful protest for law and order,” the event is scheduled for 2:00 pm on the South Lawn of the White House and will include up to 2,000 invited guests.
Instead of speaking directly before the guests, the president will reportedly address them from the White House balcony, presumably because of his coronavirus diagnosis.
Note that this overture isn’t necessary. In a statement Thursday, Physician to the President Dr. Sean Conley had said that the president would be ready for a “safe return to public engagements” by Saturday.
The president may perhaps be pursuing this more cautious approach anyway to prevent the media from pouncing.
Yet CNN has already complained, “This time, Trump will not be close to attendees. But the prospect of hosting another large gathering, even if not all 2,000 invitees do attend, as the contagion spreads has already generated concerns among some of Trump’s aides.”
The network has also obtained confirmation via an unnamed source that “attendees must bring masks and will be subject to temperature checks.”
Trump’s weekend schedule has one event:
Saturday, 2:00pm EST – “The president delivers remarks at a peaceful protest for law & order” pic.twitter.com/mQSbDVACVe
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 10, 2020
What’s not clear is whether these same rules will be in place when the president hosts his true first post-coronavirus-diagnosis rally at the Orlando Sanford International Airport this upcoming Monday.
“The event will come 10 days after his originally scheduled rally at the airport was canceled because of the positive virus test he and First Lady Melania Trump received,” the Orlando Sentinel notes.
“It will also happen two days after Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign swing through Orlando and The Villages on Saturday, as Trump and Vice President Joe Biden battle for votes in the crucial swing state of Florida.”
Doors to the event will open at 4:00 pm, and the event itself will reportedly start at 7:00 pm.
Will be in Sanford, Florida on Monday for a very BIG RALLY! https://t.co/TTOlHJT8kr
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2020
The president held a rally at the same spot four years earlier during the 2016 race. At the time, thousands of supporters reportedly showed up.
TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Long lines of people waited outside the Orlando-Sanford airport for today’s Donald Trump rally pic.twitter.com/LePA9BDUTF
— Joliet Jake2008 (@jolietjake2008) October 27, 2016
These rallies come as the president faces endless screeching from congressional Democrats and their media allies over his coronavirus diagnosis.
When he was first diagnosed, they acted as if he was fated for death. Then as he began recovering, they started claiming there was a cover-up and that he was faring far worse than his doctors were saying. And though the president’s finally practically whole again, they seem eager to make an issue out of his two scheduled rallies.
Speaking on CNN prior to the rally Saturday, commentator Alice Stewart — someone who’s known for sometimes defending the president — complained that the rally makes no sense.
“It makes zero sense to do such a thing. And I would say repeatedly, COVID is not a political issue. This is a public health issue. And that needs to be in the forefront of everyone’s mind. I understand that the president wants to get out there and rally his people, but to be quite honest, the people that are going to risk their health and go to the White House and see a rally today are going to vote for this president,” she said.
“He needs to broaden his audience, broaden his base, and people understand we are in COVID times. He can get the message out virtually, he can get the message out through tweets, he can get the message out on a debate stage.”
To be fair, the second presidential debate was cancelled because of the Commission on Presidential Debates deciding at the last minute to make it a virtual debate.
“But there are many other ways to go about getting his message out, and specifically with us being uncertain about his current status with COVID, the best thing to do is the safe thing to do, and not bring together large groups of people and get your message out there virtually. People understand,” Stewart added.
But the president might argue that this is no way to live, especially given that he’s already obtained word from his doctor that he’s in the clear.
“[D]on’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines all developed recently, and you’re going to beat it,” he’d said after being discharged from Walter Reed on Monday.
“I didn’t feel so good. And two days ago, I could have left two days ago. Two days ago, I felt great. Like, better than I have in a long time. I said just recently … better than 20 years ago. Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen.”
While there are many things the president can be accused of doing or not doing, NOT practicing what he preaches certainly doesn’t appear to be one of them.
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