Oct 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign launches "Operation MAGA" after president's COVID-19 diagnosis

A group of US President Donald Trump supporters gather outside Walter Reed Hospital where he is receiving treatment after COVID-19 diagnosis on October 2, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland.
A group of U.S. President Trump supporters gather outside Walter Reed Hospital where he is receiving treatment after COVID-19 diagnosis. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump's re-election campaign on Saturday announced the launch of "Operation MAGA," a "full marshaling of top-level surrogates, campaign coalitions and Trump supporters to rally behind the president and carry the campaign forward" after Trump was sidelined due to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Why it matters: The announcement comes just 31 days before Election Day. The Trump campaign said on Friday that all previously scheduled campaign events involving the president were being moved to virtual events or would be temporarily postponed.

  • "Vice President Mike Pence will make in-person campaign appearances in key states, as will First Family members Donald J. Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, and Lara Trump. The campaign will host virtual events until the vice presidential debate on October 7, when the in-person events will commence," the campaign said in an email announcing "Operation MAGA".
  • Worth noting: Pence has tested negative for the virus. He attended Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Rose Garden nomination on Sept. 29, which saw multiple politicians close to the White House test positive for COVID-19.

What they're saying: “Operation MAGA will fire up the entire MAGA universe to keep President Trump’s campaign at full speed until our Commander-in-Chief returns to the campaign trail,” said Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

  • “Vice President Mike Pence, the First Family, our coalitions, and our grassroots supporters will be out in full force to show the real enthusiasm behind the President’s re-election and to show we’re working as hard as he always does."
  • "We also encourage all of the President’s supporters to pick up the banner themselves by volunteering in our grassroots Army for Trump, flying their Trump flags, putting out more yard signs, and wearing their MAGA gear proudly.”

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