In his first rally since his own fight with Covid-19, Trump painted a deeply dishonest picture of the nation’s battle with disease, mocked Biden for his social distancing and vowed victory on November 3 then that it was starting a frantic push towards Election Day, marked by multiple rallies per day that could act as mass media events.
“I feel so powerful, I’m going to step into this audience. I’ll go in there, I’ll hug everyone in this audience, ”Trump said in Sanford, Fla., Showing his illness hadn’t taught him to respect his own government. pandemic guidelines. “I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and the – everybody.” I’m just gonna give everyone a big, big kiss. “
“In the midst of this pandemic, why do Republicans have time to hold a Supreme Court hearing instead of addressing important local economic needs? Biden asked. ” I will tell you why. Finally, it is about fulfilling his wish to erase the law on affordable care. ”
Biden also berated Trump for his “reckless” conduct since his diagnosis, saying, “The more President Donald Trump is, the more reckless he appears to be. “
Trump says his crowds are ‘the real polls’
Taken in isolation, Trump’s rally looked like any other big campaign event three weeks before election day. While some supporters wore masks behind him when shooting the camera, many in the large outdoor crowd did not.
And although he presides over a botched response to a pandemic, Trump has claimed he has saved millions of lives. After turning his White House into a super-broadcaster that caused multiple infections, the president also criticized Biden for staging socially distant events in which attendees sit in designated circles.
“They only have the circles because that’s the only way to fill the room,” the president said, before looking at his own large and boisterous crowd that violates all government recommendations on tackling the virus. and saying, “These are the real polls. ”
But medical experts have expressed desperation over Trump’s decision to muster huge crowds during a worsening pandemic, ahead of a shift that Trump advisers say would result in multiple rallies on Monday every day for the coming weeks. .
“I promise you the virus is here whether it’s an indoor event or an outdoor event in these large gatherings,” said Dr William Schaffner, professor of health policy and preventive medicine at the ‘Vanderbilt University on CNN’s Erin Burnett “OutFront”. who added that footage of Trump’s rally made him “cry”.
“Some of these people will get sick, they will pass it on to others when they get home and they will get sick. These are accelerator events that promote the distribution of the virus, ”Schaffner said.
Trump’s mockery of his own government’s recommendations – his rallies are almost the only mass participation events currently taking place in the world – came amid warnings that quickly darken over the months to come.
The government’s senior infectious disease specialist, Dr Anthony Fauci, warned rallies like the one Trump held on Monday night “called for problems.”
“Because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really, really embarrassing,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Fauci later issued an even more dire warning of a pandemic that sees the number of cases increase in 31 states as a peak fall – which is effectively ignored by a negligent White House – begins to accelerate.
“I think we are facing a lot of problems,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, referring to coronavirus infections which have recently climbed above 50,000 a day.
“It’s a bad place when you step into the cooler weather of fall and the colder weather of winter,” Fauci said.
US does worse than other countries in virus deaths
Trump’s claim to having saved millions of lives is based on the presumption that there would have been many more deaths if no countermeasures had been taken against the disease – a scenario that no one was seriously advocating.
New research on Monday uncovered the president’s misinformation and showed with staggering clarity how the United States has done much worse than many other industrialized countries to save lives during the pandemic. After May 10, the United States recorded more deaths per 100,000 population than other high-mortality countries presented in a study published in the medical journal JAMA.
Countries like South Korea, Japan and Australia have recorded fewer than five deaths per 100,000 population. If the United States had death rates comparable to Australia’s since the start of the pandemic, it would have had 187,661 fewer deaths, according to the study conducted by Alyssa Bilinski, a doctoral student at Harvard University, and the Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, vice-president of Global initiatives and professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
If the United States had death rates comparable to Canada’s, it would have recorded 117,622 fewer deaths. And it would have recorded 96,763 fewer deaths if it had death rates comparable to France.
GOP alarm on Trump’s outlook
In Monday’s CNN poll, Biden led Trump by 11 points. New New York Times / Siena surveys of the Michigan and Wisconsin battlefields released on Monday showed the Democrat up 6 points and 10 points, respectively.
Trump is hoping to use his return to the election trail to present himself as a Covid-19 triumphant and to solidify his assurances to Americans that there is nothing to fear from the disease, despite its growing nationwide threat.
The president – who has rarely tried to go beyond his political base – counts on massive participation not only from his 2016 supporters, but also from new white working-class voters who identify with him culturally but who rarely voted in previous ones. elections. Trump’s rally on Monday, for example, was littered with comments about the “Panhandle,” the part of northern Florida where he performed particularly well in 2016.
CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak reported on Monday that Trump was urging his advisers to hold multiple rallies over the next few weeks as he tried to spark a wave of late momentum to overhaul Biden.
The president is waiting for two or three events a day – which, under the circumstances, could turn into multiple mass-market events – to rekindle the spirit of his push until her shock victory over Hillary Clinton four years ago.
But there are signs that the GOP hierarchy in Washington doesn’t see the similarities to 2016, with some seeing Trump’s antics, including a crass performance in the first presidential debate, as giving Democrats a golden opportunity to seize on both the White House and the Senate.
McConnell recently warned of Democrats “on fire” during a call with lobbyists, according to a person familiar with the comments.
Senate Republicans who never expected to have a serious challenge, like Lindsey Graham in South Carolina and Joni Ernst in Iowa, are at serious risk. Graham, who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee heads the Barrett hearings, faces a challenger, Jaime Harrison, who just broke the quarterly fundraising record for a Senate race with $ 57 million.
And Trump’s itinerary for later this week also points to a defensive campaign as he travels to Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina – all the states he won four years ago and where he risks losing now.