The rally in Erie was another attempt to consolidate support in a state that was critical to the president’s success in 2016 but where he struggled in the polls against Mr Biden.
Mr Trump hammered home the energy policies of his Democratic opponent, repeating a false claim that Mr Biden supported a total ban on fracking, a major industry in the state.
In what Mr Trump said was a first for one of his campaign rallies, he broadcast on large video screens a montage of several clips in which Mr Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, have talked about phasing out fossil fuels to fight climate change.
“If Biden is elected, he will wipe out your energy industry,” the president said.
Mr Trump also presented a litany of misrepresentation about Mr Biden’s position on the coronavirus, claiming his opponent “will delay therapy, postpone vaccine, prolong pandemic.” He insisted the United States was “getting around the pandemic turn,” even as the virus spread across the country, including Pennsylvania, where new cases over the past week were 42% more higher than the average two weeks earlier, according to a New York Times database – a level the state has not seen since April.
Mr. Trump had another warning to voters there: that Mr. Biden, whom he calls “Sleepy Joe”, would not entertain them like he did. “If you want depression and death and hopelessness vote for Sleepy Joe,” he said. “And boredom.”
Appearing to acknowledge his electoral deficit, the president cried in the days leading up to the coronavirus when his electoral outlook looked at least a little brighter. Before “the plague” came he said, “I wasn’t going to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest, I couldn’t come. I didn’t have to. He added, “We won this thing.”
Mr Trump was due to be joined by First Lady Melania Trump for his first public appearance since contracting the coronavirus.