President Trump said during a Saturday rally on the South Lawn of the White House that the coronavirus "is going to disappear."

Why it matters: The rally with 300 to 400 attendees was the president's first public event since he contracted the coronavirus, and included conservative activist Candace Owens and the group “Blexit,” which seeks to convince Black voters to join the Republican Party.

Between the lines: Though Judd Deere, a spokesperson for the White House, told reporters before the event that the gathering was unrelated to the president's reelection efforts, Trump's Saturday speech featured remarks he often makes on the campaign trail.

  • The speech was roughly 18 minutes, which is uncharacteristically short for the president, and Trump described the event as a peaceful protest.

What he's saying: "I'm feeling great," the president said. "We're starting very big with our rallies ... because we cannot allow our country to become a socialist country."

  • "Through the power of the American spirit, I think more than anything else, science, medicine will eradicate the China virus once and for all," he added from the Blue Room Balcony.
  • "We'll get rid of it all over the world. See big flare-ups in Europe, flare-up in Canada. You saw that today. A lot of flare-ups. It is going to disappear. It is disappearing and the vaccines are going to help and the therapeutics are going to help a lot."

The other side: "Good luck," Joe Biden said of the event. "I wouldn't show up unless you had a mask and were distanced."

Reality check: Though Trump acknowledged "flare-ups" in Canada and Europe, he did not comment on the status of the pandemic the U.S.

The big picture: Multiple people, including Republican senators and political aides to the president, tested positive for the virus after they attended the last major public event at the White House — the introduction of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26.

What's next: The president has a planned campaign rally on Monday in Florida.

Go deeper

Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events

President Trump speaks to a crowd of 2,000 supporters during a rally at the Bemidji Regional Airport on Sept. 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen via Getty

The Minnesota Department of Health has traced nearly two dozen coronavirus cases to three campaign events held last month, an official told Axios on Monday.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has come under repeated fire for being lax about mask requirements and not adhering to social distancing and other local guidelines at its events.

Oct 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Key takeaways from the "60 Minutes" interviews with Trump and Biden

Combination image of President Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Sept. 29. Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

CBS' "60 Minutes" aired its interviews with President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Sunday evening, as the 2020 election rivals offered starkly different visions for the U.S.

The big picture: The show opened with Trump's interview with CBS' Lesley Stahl — which she noted "began politely, but ended regrettably, contentiously" after the president abruptly ended it, before moving on to Vice President Mike Pence, and then Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.

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