Looking to move on from his bout with COVID-19, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail in Sanford, Florida Monday, where polls show his rival, Joe Biden, with a small lead.
The rally – packed with attendees… many in red hats but few in masks – was Trump’s first since he disclosed earlier this month that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“I went through it, now they say I’m immune. I feel so powerful I’ll walk into that audience – I’ll walk in there and kiss everyone in that audience.”
White House doctor Sean Conley on Monday said Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 and is not infectious to others.
Trump is seeking to change the dynamics of a race that national opinion polls and some state polls show he is losing to Biden..
“…If you vote for me prosperity will surge.”
But Trump’s own illness has put the spotlight squarely on his much-criticized coronavirus response during the election’s closing stretch, with the Biden campaign scaling up its attacks and stretching its campaign into states that normally lean Republican.
Biden on Monday hit Toledo, Ohio – a state that Trump won in 2016 by 8 percentage points – telling autoworkers that he and former President Barack Obama played a key role in keeping the auto industry afloat during the financial crisis.
“I just think back to 2008 when Barack and I were elected and we inherited the worst recession short of a depression in history, president put me in charge of the Recovery Act. Eight hundred billion dollars. It was needed to save our economy from going into depression …Barack and I bet on you and the American worker and it paid off.”
Monday’s event marked Biden’s second campaign trip to Ohio – once thought to be out of reach – but where polls now show a competitive race… No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio.
And according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday – Biden has pulled further ahead in critical swing states – Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – two states that Trump carried in the 2016 election.