Appearing at White House, Trump holds first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis

Appearing at White House, Trump holds first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis
US President Donald Trump gestures as he stands on a White House balcony speaking to supporters gathered for a campaign rally that the White House is calling a “peaceful protest” in Washington, US, Oct. 10, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 13 October 2020

Appearing at White House, Trump holds first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis

Appearing at White House, Trump holds first public event since COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Standing alone and not wearing a mask, Trump spoke from the White House balcony
  • The White House has not released the results of Trump's latest COVID-19 test, and has declined to say when he last tested negative

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump made his first public appearance since returning to the White House on Monday from a three-day stay in hospital for COVID-19, even as his aides remained silent on whether he is still contagious.
Standing alone and not wearing a mask, Trump spoke from the White House balcony at an event called "a peaceful protest for law & order," attended by a few hundred people standing on the lawn below. His appearance is seen as a first step toward resuming full campaigning next week.
Speaking without hesitation, Trump appeared to be back to his usual rallying form, boasting about his record and hurling unsubstantiated allegations against his opponents as a packed crowd of supporters chanted, "We love you."
It was the first public event Trump has held since he was released from the hospital on Monday, when some observers watching his return to the White House said he appeared at times to be short of breath.
The White House has released videos and Trump has called into television shows since then, but this was the public's first chance to see the president live.
The White House has not released the results of Trump's latest COVID-19 test, and has declined to say when he last tested negative. A White House spokeswoman said on Friday that Trump would be tested for COVID-19 and would not go out in public if it was determined he could still spread the virus.
Scott Atlas, the doctor advising Trump, declined to comment on Trump's last test when approached by Reuters outside the event cordon. He was not wearing a mask.
Trump, who has campaigned on a law-and-order theme during recent months of sometimes violent protests for racial justice, told Saturday's gathering that the Republican Party had the support of America's police forces.
"We have law enforcement watching," he said. "We're on the side of right."
Trump's efforts to portray himself as tough on crime have had little impact on his standing in national opinion polls, which show him trailing his Democratic challenger Joe Biden by double digits. But the gap between the two candidates is narrower in the battleground states that may determine who wins the White House.


UK hopes to be able to consider lockdown easing in March

UK hopes to be able to consider lockdown easing in March
Updated 17 January 2021

UK hopes to be able to consider lockdown easing in March

UK hopes to be able to consider lockdown easing in March
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a target of vaccinating the elderly, including care home residents, the clinically vulnerable and frontline workers

LONDON: Britain’s government hopes it can meet its target for rolling out COVID-19 vaccines and be able to consider easing lockdown restrictions by March, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday.
The country, which has Europe’s highest COVID-19 death toll, has been under a national lockdown since Jan. 5, when schools were closed for most pupils, non-essential businesses were shut to the public, and people were ordered to work from home where possible.
“What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown as soon as possible,” Raab told Sky News television.
“By early spring, hopefully by March, we’ll be in a position to make those decisions. I think it’s right to say we won’t do it all in one big bang. As we phase out the national lockdown, I think we’ll end up phasing through a tiered approach.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a target of vaccinating the elderly, including care home residents, the clinically vulnerable and frontline workers — or roughly more than 13 million people — by mid-February.
If all goes smoothly, he has said that England can consider easing lockdown restrictions from that time.
The Sunday Times newspaper said British ministers had reached a deal to approve a three-point plan that could lead to some lockdown restrictions being lifted as soon as early March.
Areas will have restrictions eased once their death rate has fallen, the number of hospital admissions drops and some people aged between 50 and 70 are vaccinated, the newspaper said.
The Sunday Times quoted cabinet ministers as saying they were prepared to resist pressure from health advisers to delay the changes until most people are vaccinated, a process that would take until the summer at least.
“For the first time there are no significant divisions between hawks and doves in the cabinet,” a cabinet source told the newspaper. “Everyone accepted that we need to lock down hard and everyone accepts that we need to open up before everyone is vaccinated.”
A spokesman in Johnson’s office declined to comment on the report.