With rallies in key Midwestern states on Friday, Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off as a resurgent coronavirus further exposes their sharp differences just four days before the US presidential election.
And with another daily record of new Covid-19 infections reached by the United States on Thursday, US President Trump kept to his policy of downplaying the risk and appealing for companies to reopen.
He has also ramped up fear-mongering, warning of “socialists” rampaging and attempting to depict his Democratic opponent as planning to shut down the government.
Biden has attempted to reassure the few remaining undecided supporters that he can supply the wheel with a stable hand and heal the “soul” of America, calling Trump reckless.
Drive-in, socially distanced rallies have been held by the former vice president, while Trump’s meetings have also seen guests disregard certain norms and eschew masks.
On Friday, for both running in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the two candidates expect to be in three Midwestern states. Trump will fly to Michigan as well, and Biden expects to be in Iowa as well.
In Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, Trump’s victories helped drive him to victory in 2016.
But in all four of those states, polling averages from the RealClearPolitics.com site show Biden up, ranging from 6.5 percentage points in Michigan to just one point in Iowa.
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Nevertheless, Democrats and Republicans alike have constantly warned of the unreliability of polling, pointing to Hillary Clinton ‘s 2016 shock defeat by Trump amid surveys showing her to be the apparent favourite.
Trump and Biden are focusing their attention on swing states that will determine the election in the days leading up to the November 3 elections, and both were in the key state of Florida on Thursday.
Another tough rally in Tampa was hosted by Trump, 74, warning the roaring crowd that coronavirus lockdowns under Biden will banish regular life.
They’re not going to allow you anything, said the Republican. We’re never going to lock down again […] We’re free for company, “he added, reminding followers that his own latest bout with Covid-19 has proven that it can be defeated.”
The bottom line, you know, is you’re getting better, he said.
But the pandemic, which has already destroyed the lives of 228,000 Americans, has proven its persistence and is facing a long-anticipated second surge.
More than 91,000 new US infections were registered on Thursday, the largest 24-hour number since the pandemic started, according to a Johns Hopkins University count.
However, in his statement that he is better positioned to bring about an economic turnaround, Trump got positive news on Thursday.
In the third quarter, new estimates showed an average growth rate of 33.1 percent-a jaw-dropping number that mirrored the recovery of the economy from such a low base.
Biden, addressing a socially distanced drive-in event in Broward County, reminded supporters that in determining the results of close races, there are few states as important as Florida.
The 77-year-old stressed his argument that he would offer prudent leadership after months of the White House downplaying the risk of the virus, rebuffing Trump ‘s core accusation.
I will not shut the economy down, I will not shut the country down. I’m going to get the virus shut down,’ he said in Tampa.
Although Trump mocks him for hosting small campaign activities, instead of staging the “super-spreader” activities of the presidency, Biden said he led by example.
This country’s heart and soul are at stake, he said.
Huge early voting
With a frenetic timetable, Trump sets the tempo, but the strikingly quiet campaign of Biden is still revving up.
After Florida, for a briefing with veterans, Trump went to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Because of the heat, the campaign said, a scheduled rally in the toss-up state was postponed until Monday.
Mother nature was also intruding on Biden’s Tampa rally, as a heavy downpour forced him to cut short his remarks.
Trump beat Clinton in Florida in 2016, but Biden had a 51-47 point advantage there in an NBC News / Marist poll released on Thursday.
Early in the hugely consequential race, a staggering 81 million Americans have already cast their ballots.
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