President Donald Trump on Friday (October 30) sought support in Midwestern states where the coronavirus has roared back, with Trump falsely accusing doctors of profiting from COVID-19 deaths while Biden said Trump had surrendered to the pandemic.
Speaking at an evening rally in Minnesota, Trump was critical of local governors who had restricted attendance at the rally to 250 socially distanced people due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.
Before making his speech, Trump drove a short distance to greet several thousand supporters who had not been allowed in to hear his speech.
The president, who recovered from COVID-19 weeks ago, has played down the health crisis for months, telling supporters in recent weeks that the country is “turning the corner” even as cases surge. Biden has warned of a “dark winter” ahead and promised a renewed effort to contain the virus.
Biden leads Trump 52% to 42% in Reuters/IPSOS national opinion polling, partly because of widespread disapproval of his handling of the pandemic. Opinion polls show a closer contest in the most competitive states that will decide the election.
Minnesota, which has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, is one of the few Democratic states that Trump is trying to flip this year.
The pandemic and an extraordinary level of enthusiasm have prompted Americans to vote early in unprecedented numbers.
More than 85 million votes have been cast either by mail or in person, roughly 62% of the total number of votes in the entire 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida.
(Production: Martin Veal)