Fauci Slams WH 'Superspreader.' Now, a 'HUGE' WH Rally

Saturday event on South Lawn, with Trump speaking from balcony, may draw thousands
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2020 8:00 AM CDT
On Eve of WH Event, Fauci Calls Last One a 'Superspreader'
Dr. Anthony Fauci is seen on Capitol Hill on Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington.   (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Dr. Anthony Fauci is speaking out on the September Rose Garden event that's possibly tied to the White House coronavirus outbreak, and President Trump likely won't like the descriptor that the infectious diseases expert has for it. In an interview Friday with CBS News, Fauci was asked once again about the efficacy of wearing masks to slow down the spread of the virus, and he didn't mince words. "We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks," he said. "So the data speak for themselves." Meanwhile, Trump has his first public event since his COVID-19 diagnosis planned for Saturday at the White House, in which he'll be speaking from a balcony to supporters gathered on the South Lawn. The Washington Post notes that "hundreds" are expected to attend, while a source tells CNN that 2,000 guests have received an invite. More from around the internet:

  • Attendees at the White House event, labeled a "peaceful protest for law & order," must submit to a virus screening beforehand, including a temperature check, and have to bring a mask, which they'll be instructed to wear, a person said to be familiar with the event planning tells the Post. The paper adds that some White House officials didn't want the event to take place, while chief of staff Mark Meadows and presidential adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner encouraged it.

  • Some of those expected to attend Saturday's event have had their travel and lodging paid for by the Blexit group organized by conservative activist Candace Owens. Those attendees, who are going to a Blexit event earlier in the day, received an invite asking them to also come to a "HUGE outdoor rally," per ABC News.
  • Although the White House has said it won't be doing contact tracing for the attendees of the Rose Garden event, USA Today and volunteer groups have stepped into that role, offering an evolving visual that shows who in Trump's sphere has already tested positive, and what names may have been in contact. The paper notes thousands may have been exposed as a result of the White House outbreak.
  • Meanwhile, health officials confirm to MPR News that nine people who attended a Trump rally in Bemidji, Minn., last month have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those nine, two have been hospitalized, with one patient needing to go to the ICU. The Hill notes it's not clear if the patients contracted the virus at the rally.
  • CNN reports that Trump is expected to headline a rally at an airplane hangar in Sanford, Fla., on Monday. "All attendees will be given a temperature check, masks which they are encouraged to wear, and access to hand sanitizer," a campaign statement noted, per the Post.
(Read more White House stories.)

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