Trump holding event despite diagnosis
President Donald Trump is hosting his first in-person event at the White House on Saturday - despite officials refusing to say if he has tested negative for COVID-19.
Hundreds of guests have been invited to Trump's address from a White House balcony - just a week after he was hospitalised for coronavirus.
The event is scheduled to take place on the South Lawn of the White House, which will coincide with a previously planned event organised by controversial conservative activist Candace Owens' Blexit movement.
Trump is expected to address the crowd from a balcony during the event, which will feature remarks on "law and order".
Just a week removed from announcing he tested positive for coronavirus, Trump is ignoring health experts warning of a growing coronavirus spread engulfing the White House.
According to reports, at least 34 staffers and others have contacted the virus in recent days.
The rise in cases within the White House came after Trump hosted a ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden.
Both Trump and First Lady Melania were diagnosed with COVID following the event.
Former aide Kellyanne Conway, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnancy, top aide Hope Hicks, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and others, also tested positive for coronavirus after the Rose Garden gathering.
Dr Anthony Fauci told CBS News Radio that there was a "super spreader event" at the White House - referring to Barrett's celebration.
"Well, I think the data speak for themselves. We had a super spreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks," Fauci said.
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Dr Sean Conley, the president's primary physician, said on Thursday that "Saturday will be day 10 since Trump's Thursday diagnosis" opening the door for Trump to host in-person public events again.
That same day, Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity that he wanted to hold a rally in Florida on Saturday and another one in Pennsylvania the following day - claiming he is virtually "virus-free".
"If we can have enough time to put it together, we want to do a rally probably in Florida on Saturday night, and might come back and do one in Pennsylvania the following night," Trump said.
Throughout his 30-minute interview, Trump was heard coughing and at one point appeared to mute his phone line.
He will undergo a medical evaluation and interview by Dr Marc Siegel to prove his health.
Siegel, who has compared COVID-19 to the flu and has said there is "no science" behind the call to wear masks, is a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine.
This story originally appeared on The US Sun and is republished here with permission.
Originally published as Trump holding event despite diagnosis