Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!