White House to host Halloween trick or treating despite COVID outbreak


Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will welcome kids from military and frontline worker families, weeks after a White House superspreader event infected more than a dozen people.

Ghosts, goblins and other costumed kids are welcome to trick or treat at the White House on Sunday during a Halloween event that has been rejiggered to include coronavirus precautions.

The gates to the South Lawn will be opened to children from military families, frontline workers, and others, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Melania Trump announced Friday.

Extra precautions have been added to the spooky celebration.

Donald Trump and the first lady — both recently recovered from COVID-19, the disease brought on by the coronavirus — will welcome guests at some point during the event.

Less that a week ago, on Oct. 20, the first lady's chief of staff announced she had canceled planned campaign appearances due to a "lingering cough" from COVID-19.

Trump himself has repeatedly bragged that he was cured of the virus after a multi-day stint at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier in the month. (There is no cure for coronavirus currently.)

Guests older than 2 are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing at the White House event. The same goes for all White House personnel working the event, while any staff handing out candy will also wear gloves.

Hand sanitizer will be available along the route and social distancing measures will be in place.

Participating federal departments will use a "no-touch" approach.

NASA will display space-related items, including an inflatable rocket. Costumed-clad kids can wave to the Agriculture Department's Smokey Bear and pick up Junior Ranger badges from the Interior Department's station.

The Education and Labor departments will offer photo opportunities, and the Transportation department will provide paper airplanes for children to take home.

The South Portico of the White House will be decorated with bright-colored leaves in various shades of autumn, chrysanthemums and pumpkins.

With additional reporting from Melanie Schmitz.