Trump's First Public Appearance Since Being Diagnosed with COVID-19 Was a Thinly Veiled Campaign Rally

Abigail Covington
·2 mins read
Photo credit: Samuel Corum - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samuel Corum - Getty Images

From Esquire

On Saturday afternoon, President Trump stepped out onto the balcony of the Blue Room to greet supporters who had gathered on the South Lawn of the White House for what he claimed was a peaceful protest in support of law and order. It was his first significant in-person event since being hospitalized for COVID-19 a week ago. "I'm feeling great, I don't know about you," said Trump to the crowd.

Early Saturday morning, ABC News reported that some of the guests at the rally had their travel and lodging paid for by the controversial conservative activist Candace Owens. Owens' organization BLEXIT urges Black Americans to leave the Democratic party. Many of those in attendance could be seen wearing blue BLEXIT t-shirts.

Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images

Despite being advertised as an official event by the Trump campaign and as a peaceful protest by the president himself, Saturday's address seemed more like a rally than anything else. In the 18-minute speech, Trump pingponged between his favorite topics and made multiple false statements about instances of voter fraud. "Did you see how many crooked ballots are being found?" said Trump. "Tremendous problems with the ballots." He also criticized his opponent Vice President Joe Biden, accusing him of posessing a secret radical agenda. “The other day in the debate Biden couldn’t even use the words law enforcement,” Trump said.

Many people on social media criticized the event for being too similar to a rally, suggesting that it might've been in violation of the Hatch Act. Passed in 1939, the Hatch Act is a law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity like campaigning inside federal buildings or while on duty. Though the president and vice president are exempt from the Hatch Act's restrictions, other members of the Trump administration are not, and they have repeatedly been called out for violating the law.

After briefly mentioning the Coronavirus, "Trump ended his abnormally brief speech by once again discussing the election. "This is the most important election in the history of our country. Get out and vote, and I love you."

You Might Also Like