US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that despite increasing coronavirus infections, he had no intention of stopping campaigning as a case was confirmed for the first time within miles of the White House.
The president struck a defiant tone as he spoke to reporters about the outbreak at his Mar a Lago resort in South Florida, where he housed his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro.
"We will have huge rallies and we are doing very well and we have done a fantastic job on the subject," Trump replied when asked if his "Keep America Great" campaigning events would continue.
Trump's statements came when the number of cases confirmed in the United States rose to over 400 and 19 deaths were confirmed, mainly in the West Coast state of Washington.
In the meantime, health officials have announced the first confirmed case in the country's capital – a Washington DC man in his fifties with no international travel history and no close contact with people who are known to be infected.
When asked if he was concerned that the virus had spread only a few miles from the White House, Trump replied, "No, I'm not worried at all."
When he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday, the president had already insisted that the risk of having so many people in the immediate vicinity "didn't bother me at all".
The CDC warns of crowds gathering on its coronavirus website and particularly encourages older people to stay at home as much as possible.
Trump has recently held more than one rally at a rate of more than one a week – often as a counter-program to primary democratic competitions or debates.
However, his website is currently showing without reason that no events are planned for the coming days.
Trump has been heavily criticized for repeatedly contradicting the advice of his government's experts in his public statements on the corona virus.
At a free-press conference in the United States' disease control and prevention center on Friday, the President incorrectly claimed that tests for the virus were available to anyone who needed one.
The event was intended to keep the public informed of the epidemic.
Instead, the president made headlines by calling the governor of the worst-hit state of Washington "snake" and revealing that he preferred to keep sick Americans on a stranded cruise ship to keep infections low, complained about CNN and revealed this He was surprised to discover that people could die from the flu.
Worldwide, more than 100,000 people are infected with the new corona virus. To date, more than 3,500 deaths have been reported, mainly at the epicenter in China.
Trump's potential democratic November presidential challenger, Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have continued to hold campaign events that attracted large crowds during the crisis.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)