“I am so energized by your prayers and humbled by your support,” Trump said. He was released from the hospital after undergoing treatment for coronavirus last week.(Reuters)
“I am so energized by your prayers and humbled by your support,” Trump said. He was released from the hospital after undergoing treatment for coronavirus last week.(Reuters)

US Election 2020: Donald Trump holds 1st rally since contracting coronavirus

US President Donald Trump, whose doctor said Monday for the first time that he had received a negative test for Covid-19, is pushing to correct a stubborn deficit in national and battleground state polling.
By Associated Press | Posted by Prashasti Singh | Sanford
UPDATED ON OCT 13, 2020 05:54 AM IST

Just a week after his release from the hospital, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Monday for the first time since contracting the coronavirus as he tries to stage a late comeback in the election’s final stretch.

“It’s great to be back in my home state, Florida, to make my official return to the campaign trail,” Trump declared in front of a crowd of thousands of supporters, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, mostly without masks, despite the ongoing pandemic.

“I am so energized by your prayers and humbled by your support,” he said.

Also Read: Donald Trump tests negative for coronavirus, isn’t infectious, says doctor

Trump, whose doctor said Monday for the first time that he had received a negative test for Covid-19, is pushing to correct a stubborn deficit in national and battleground state polling. His Sanford rally Monday night was his first stop in a busy week that will include events in Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The robust schedule underscores the work Trump needs to do as he tries to win over voters just three weeks before Election Day. And it comes amid still-unanswered questions about the impact so much travel so soon could have on the 74-year-old president’s health. The progression of Covid-19 is often unpredictable, and there can be long-term complications.

After Air Force One lifted off from Joint Base Andrews, the president’s doctor released an update on his health that said Trump had tested negative for the virus — and had done so on consecutive days. His doctor, Navy Cmdr. Scott Conley, said that the tests, taking in conjunction with other data, including viral load, have led him to conclude that Trump was not contagious.

For days, the White House had sidestepped questions as to whether Trump had tested negative. Conley over the weekend said that the president met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards,” Trump was no longer considered a transmission risk.

Trump, eager to return to campaigning, says he is now “immune” to the virus — a claim that is impossible to prove given limitations in what scientists know about the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Monday on CNN that those who recover from Covid-19 are likely to be immune for a limited period of time, but there are cases emerging of people getting reinfected weeks or months later.

Fauci, speaking as Trump was prepared to depart the White House for Florida, questioned the wisdom of holding such an event. He noted that test positivity rates are climbing in parts of the Sun Belt.

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Fauci said.

Some medical experts have also voiced skepticism that Trump could be declared contagion-free so soon. And it was unclear what — if any — added precautions and safety measures the campaign planned to take to prevent the trip from further spreading a virus that has already infected so many of the president’s closest aides and allies, including his campaign manager and the head of the Republican Party.

Florida is seen as critical to Trump’s reelection chances. Trump narrowly beat his 2016 rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the state by just over 112,000 votes. Some recent polls have suggested a close race in the state, while others have put Democrat Joe Biden ahead.

Also Read: US Election 2020: Nice if decision to scrap presidential debate reversed, says White House

Trump’s decision to so quickly return to the campaign trail drew criticism from Biden and other Democrats.

“President Trump comes to Sanford today bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric, and fear mongering,” Biden said in a statement. “But, equally dangerous is what he fails to bring: no plan to get this virus that has taken the lives of over 15,000 Floridians under control.” Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat who is running for state Senate and who recently recovered from his own Covid-19 infection, said in a conference call with reporters that Trump should not be coming to Florida.

“It’s reckless and irresponsible,” Jones said.

Florida lawyer Dan Uhfelder, who has dressed as the Grim Reaper on beaches to highlight the coronavirus threat, filed a lawsuit Monday trying to stop Trump from holding his Sanford rally. It sought to have the event classified as a public nuisance.

Trump, for his part, is eager to show the world that he is no longer sidelined by a virus that he has consistently played down and that has killed 215,000 people across the nation.

Since his release from a military hospital after three days of around-the-clock care that included access to experimental antibody treatments unavailable to the public, Trump has used his personal experience to try to convince the public that he was right all along.

He has repeatedly told Americans who contract the virus that they’re “going to get better really fast,” although hundreds of people in the U.S. die of the virus every day.

Trump held his first public event since his diagnosis on Saturday, addressing a crowd of hundreds of people on the South Lawn from a White House balcony. Appearing without a mask and with bandages still visible on his hands, likely from intravenous injections, Trump spoke for just 18 minutes — far less than his usual campaign rallies, which can last upwards of 90 minutes.

He told the crowd the virus is “disappearing,” even as cases have been on the rise. (AP) MRJ

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Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala being taken to Victoria hospital for a scan from Bowring hospital after her health deteriorated in the Parappana Agrahara Prison, in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)
Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala being taken to Victoria hospital for a scan from Bowring hospital after her health deteriorated in the Parappana Agrahara Prison, in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)

VK Sasikala to be released today

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 03:58 AM IST
  • The AIADMK’s top leaders have issued a gag order to party members.
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Uttarpara MLA Prabir Ghosal stepped step down as a district core committee member and spokesperson of the Hooghly district. (HT)
Uttarpara MLA Prabir Ghosal stepped step down as a district core committee member and spokesperson of the Hooghly district. (HT)

Another jolt for Mamata as MLA resigns from party posts; TMC issues notice

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 03:50 AM IST
  • The legislator’s actions ahead of the crucial assembly elections immediately drew the ire of the ruling party which issued him a showcause notice.
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

RSS rejects Ram chants at Netaji event in Bengal

By Tanmay Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 03:24 AM IST
  • The RSS is of the view that the slogan hailing Lord Ram should not have been shouted at a government event organised to pay homage to Netaji.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his recent visit to Tamil Nadu. (PTI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his recent visit to Tamil Nadu. (PTI Photo)

Kerala Assembly polls: Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Wayanad on Wednesday

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 10:12 PM IST
The Congress high command had recently summoned Chandy and two other top leaders of Kerala to Delhi to discuss recent local body debacle and possible re-jig in the state unit ahead of assembly elections.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts at a 'Farmers Convention', during his election campaign for the forthcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam in Karur(PTI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts at a 'Farmers Convention', during his election campaign for the forthcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam in Karur(PTI Photo)

Veterans seek apology from Rahul for ‘undermining armed forces’

PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:51 AM IST
  • In a statement issued on Monday, the veterans said the armed forces can be “casually undermined by irresponsible leaders” only at a grave to national security.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves as he interacts with the farmers at a convention at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam, in Karur on Monday. (ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves as he interacts with the farmers at a convention at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam, in Karur on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Rahul Gandhi accuses PM Modi of 'leaking information' about Balakot air strike

ANI, Karur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 07:54 PM IST
The Congress leader said the availability of confidential information of a social media site WhatsApp equates to the 'breach' of the Official Secrets Act.
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The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking ‘free and fair’ polls in West Bengal

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 01:26 PM IST
A public interest litigation (PIL) in this regard was filed in the apex court in December 2020.
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“People of Bengal will give a befitting reply to her in the next elections,” the BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said.(PTI File Photo)
“People of Bengal will give a befitting reply to her in the next elections,” the BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said.(PTI File Photo)

BJP targets CM Mamata Banerjee for appeasement politics in Bengal

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 03:43 AM IST
Banerjee on Saturday refused to speak at an official event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the beginning of the celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 124th birth anniversary after Bharatiya Janata Party supporters raised “Jai Shri Ram” slogans just before Banerjee was to start her address.
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Switching political allegiance doesn't always guarantee leadership positions, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.(Prateek Choudhury/Hindustan Times File Photo)
Switching political allegiance doesn't always guarantee leadership positions, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.(Prateek Choudhury/Hindustan Times File Photo)

'Need to induct leaders from other parties to expand base': Bengal BJP chief

PTI, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:52 PM IST
In an interview to PTI, he also clarified that everybody has to abide by the rules and regulations of the party, be it the old-timers or the newcomers.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being welcomed by people during his public rally, in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being welcomed by people during his public rally, in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

In Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi offers a solution to deal with China

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:55 PM IST
Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu which is scheduled to go to polls in April-May. He is interacting with farmers, weavers and the general public during the visit.
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Union Home minister Amit Shah was addressing a rally in Assam's Kokrajhar.(File photo)
Union Home minister Amit Shah was addressing a rally in Assam's Kokrajhar.(File photo)

Only Modi-led BJP can rid Assam of terrorism and intruders: Amit Shah

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 03:06 PM IST
Targeting Congress for lack of development in the state, Shah said, "The Congress party stained Assam in blood for years and instigated different movements in the state."
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Congress' West Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada with Rahul Gandhi(PTI)
Congress' West Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada with Rahul Gandhi(PTI)

Congress-Left to fight for Bengal's identity: Jitin Prasada

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:29 PM IST
Accusing the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not focusing on people's issues, Prasada said this election in Bengal should have been about the performance of the BJP-led central government and what it has done for Bengal.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a road show in Erode on Sunday.( ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a road show in Erode on Sunday.( ANI)

'Here to help', 'Indebted to you': What Rahul Gandhi said at Erode roadshow

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:27 PM IST
Invoking his family's relationship with Tamil Nadu, on the second day of his tour, Rahul thanked the people of the state for all their love and affection.
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During his first visit to the poll-bound state, the PM said allotment of these certificates would ensure that the benefits of government schemes reached these families.(ANI file photo)
During his first visit to the poll-bound state, the PM said allotment of these certificates would ensure that the benefits of government schemes reached these families.(ANI file photo)

Ahead of Assam polls, PM Modi distributes land allotment certificates

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:00 AM IST
In its 2016 election manifesto, the BJP, which came to power in Assam with the slogan of protecting ‘jaati’, ‘maati’ and ‘bheti’ (community, land and hearth), had promised to give land rights to the state’s indigenous families.
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The former Congress president also targeted the BJP’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.(AFP)
The former Congress president also targeted the BJP’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.(AFP)

Rahul Gandhi launches Cong’s Tamil Nadu poll campaign, hits out at PM Modi

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:40 AM IST
“Currently, they are trying to bring one idea of one language, one culture which we are fighting,” Rahul said, launching the Congress’ election campaign from Coimbatore district.
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