The United States President Donald Trump has resume his rally after coronavirus diagnosis ahead of the November presidential elections.
Keen to appear lively and well after his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Donald Trump held his first rally since being diagnosed, addressing a packed, largely maskless crowd in Florida – a state he desperately needs to win, The Guardian report.
“I feel so powerful,” he boasted to his cheering supporters, 11 days after announcing his infection. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women – everybody,” he added, his voice still a bit hoarse.
With just weeks to go before election day, and early voting under way, Trump has been eager to return to a full schedule of in-person rallies as he scrambles to hold on to supporters. Polls have his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, ahead by an average of 10.4 points as of Friday. Trump is also losing support from seniors, who are the most vulnerable in a pandemic that has already killed more than 214,000 Americans.
In a frenetic push to solidify support, Trump and his campaign have sought to downplay the threat of coronavirus. The president’s own demonstrations of reckless, maskless bravado appear to be key to that strategy, as Trump characterizes his opponent as frail and confined to his basement.
Seniors were among the crowd, who chanted “USA” and “We love you”, at the rally outside Orlando on Monday night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the highest risk events during the pandemic are “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6ft apart and attendees travel from outside the local area” – a description which more or less sums up a rally.
Although the rally was held outside, where the virus is less likely to spread, attendees’ lack of social distancing and masking at Trump events has raised concerns.
Earlier in the day, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said holding large rallies was “asking for trouble”, telling CNN that Americans should be vigilant as coronavirus cases tick up in many parts of the country. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves,” Fauci said. “It happens. And now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome.”
The president’s physician, meanwhile, issued a statement noting that Trump had been taking Abbott Pharmaceutical’s rapid tests and received negative results “on consecutive days”. As has been characteristic in recent weeks, Dr Sean Conley left out key information – including which days and how many. He also offered that the rapid tests – which are less accurate than PCR tests processed in labs – were not used “in isolation for the determination of the president’s negative status” and cited “additional clinical and laboratory data”, leaving many details of Trump’s condition vague.
Biden held a much different campaign event on Monday – addressing a spare, socially distanced crowd in Cincinnati. Condemning the president’s response to the pandemic, the Democratic nominee asked rhetorically: “How many empty chairs are there around the dinner table because of his negligence?”
But even as Biden discussed his plans for addressing the pandemic, Trump had moved on – discussing his hopes for the US to land a man on Mars and disparaging the media. Monday night marked a return to the president’s classic stump speeches, divorced from reality, with a throwback to his erstwhile rallying cry that Mexico “is paying for” the border wall.
The president has planned to hold rallies in battleground states all week, without any new safety precautions.
Trump also insisted he was leading in Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina. That he is decidedly not – and has not been for months – is perhaps the best explanation as to why the president is so eager to return to a packed campaign schedule.
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