President Donald Trump made his first in-person appearance on Saturday since contracting COVID-19, addressing a black conservatives event at the White House.
The White House event highlighted conservative activist Candace Owens’ “Blexit” movement, which seeks to draw black Americans away from the Democratic Party. Trump spoke from the White House balcony facing the South Lawn, maintaining social distancing from his audience and not mingling afterward.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 10, 2020
White House Physician Sean Conley announced on Thursday that he expected Trump to return to normal business starting Saturday, saying his recovery has been consistent and his vital signs are now stable. (RELATED: ‘That’s A Disgrace’: Trump Reacts To Report There Won’t Be A Pre-Election Durham Report)
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) October 10, 2020
The White House labeled the Blexit gathering a “peaceful protest for law and order,” a thinly-veiled jab at Trump’s political opponents who have described riots and unrest resulting in violence and destruction of property as “mostly peaceful protests.”
Trump used the event to tout various historic landmarks black Americans achieved under his administration prior to the coronavirus pandemic, saying their poverty rate was lower than ever.
The event came less than a day since the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) cancelled the October 15 debate after Trump objected to its being held virtually. The CPD previously decided to hold the event virtually over fears Trump would still be positive for COVID-19.
Both Trump and Biden now have competing campaign events scheduled for the evening of October 15. The October 22 debate remains on schedule and will likely be in-person, barring any radical changes.