The New York Times reported that Donald Trump was considering a dramatic publicity stunt when he left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after being treated for COVID-19.
The plan was for Trump to appear frail while leaving the hospital, and then he would dramatically rip off his dress shirt to reveal a Superman t-shirt underneath.
He made several phone calls from his suite at the medical center where he floated the idea, but he ultimately chose not to go through with it.
Trump tested positive for the virus on October 1 and was taken for treatment the following day. He was back home at the White House on October 5.
Despite not making the results of his COVID-19 test public that Trump claims he took on Friday, he made his first public appearance on Saturday. He welcomed supporters to the White House South Lawn, where he delivered a short speech from the Blue Room balcony.
Trump only spoke to the crowd for 18 minutes, but he continued to stoke the fire with is voter base.
“We’ve got to vote them into oblivion,” Trump told the crowd of a few hundred.
Attendees to the event were asked to fill out a questionnaire and underwent temperature checks before entering the White House. They were advised to wear masks and social distance, though most did not.
He again downplayed the virus, telling the crowd, “it’s going to disappear,” and that a vaccine is coming “very, very quickly.” There’s no evidence to suggest those statements have any truth to them as some areas are seeing a spike in numbers.
At the gathering on Saturday, Trump took note of the teal blue shirts the attendees wore and said, “I want to out one of them on instead of a white shirt,” according to The Times.