U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump plans to hold a face-to-face event at the White House on Saturday, less than a week after being hospitalized with the coronavirus, a White House official told CNBC on Friday.
Later on Friday, the Trump campaign announced that the president would travel to Sanford, Florida on Monday to deliver a speech at a Make America Great Again event.
The White House meeting marks Trump's first public event since he announced last week that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19. Since that announcement, numerous other people who work and are associated with the White House have tested positive as well.
The event is said to include "remarks to peaceful law and order protesters," according to an invitation from ABC News, which first covered the gathering. The White House official confirmed ABC's reporting to CNBC.
According to ABC's invitation, a crowd will gather on the lawn of the White House to the south from 11:30 a.m.
Trump will address attendees from the White House balcony at 2 p.m., multiple outlets reported.
The in-person event comes as Trump has been criticized for downplaying the pandemic threat and attending meetings that disregard recommendations from health professionals in his own administration on social distancing.
The president contracted the virus less than a week after a large face-to-face meeting at the White House that celebrated Judge Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to the Supreme Court. More than a dozen officials, including several Republican lawmakers, have since tested positive, according to NBC News.
The White House appears to be making additional arrangements for the upcoming event on Saturday. All attendees are required to bring masks and will be instructed to wear them on the White House grounds, a source familiar with the plans told CNBC. Participants are also required to undergo a "screening" for coronavirus, which includes a temperature test and a short questionnaire.
"The health and safety of all attendees is our priority and adherence to CDC guidelines is highly recommended," the source said.
The event was announced just 25 days before the presidential election between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump, who is at the bottom of the polls, has disappeared from the election campaign since his diagnosis was announced.
But Trump has been insisting all week that he will no longer feel any Covid-19 symptoms, and White House doctor Dr. Sean Conley said in a memo Thursday evening that he anticipated the president could make a "safe return to public engagement" by the weekend.
Trump was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last Friday evening, the day he announced his diagnosis in a tweet. He was released on Monday night and continues to be treated by doctors in the White House.
Although a number of Covid-19 cases have been reported in and around the White House and the Trump administration – NBC counted 27 on Friday morning – the president has not remained isolated at the White House residence. On Wednesday, Trump returned to the Oval Office, where he was reportedly briefed on talks on coronavirus stimuli and the progress of the Hurricane Delta.
The list of positive cases includes White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Immigration Policy Advisor Stephen Miller, and several members of the White House Press Corps.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News on Friday, "I think the data speaks for itself. We had a super-spreader event at the White House."
More than 7.6 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US and at least 212,789 have died, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.