Otago Daily Times
Trump carries on as he left off; Fauci rings alarm bells
SANFORD, Florida: President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail yesterday for the first time since he announced his Covid19 diagnosis, touting his management of the pandemic as opinion polls showed him losing more ground to Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump arrived at the outdoor rally in Sanford, Florida — the first of six planned for this week — without a protective mask. He tossed out masks to thousands of supporters standing shoulder to shoulder, most without protective face coverings, and repeatedly talked about his recovery from the coronavirus.
‘‘I went through it now. They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful,’’ Trump told the crowd during his hourlong remarks.
‘‘I will kiss everyone in that audience. I will kiss the guys and the beautiful women; I will give you a big fat kiss.’’
Trump’s return to his signature campaign rallies kicked off a threeweek sprint to the November 3 election. National opinion polls and some key state polls show Trump is losing to Biden in the race.
The airport rally in Sanford indicated Trump had not reshaped his campaign approach or outlook since contracting the coronavirus, which has infected more than 7.8 million people in the United States and killed more than 214,000.
He told supporters coronavirus safety lockdowns had done great damage to the economy and were too drastic.
As Trump was holding his rally, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told CNBC the United States faced a ‘‘whole lot of trouble’’ if it did not encourage universal wearing of face masks and avoid mass gatherings.
Trump’s rally came hours after the White House said he had tested negative for Covid19 on consecutive days and was not infectious to others.
In a memo, Dr Sean Conley did not say when the tests were conducted but that they and other clinical and laboratory data ‘‘indicate a lack of detectable viral replication’’.
Biden yesterday made two campaign appearances in Ohio. Speaking in Cincinnati, he criticised Trump for playing down the coronavirus threat and mocked the president’s statements that he did not want to panic Americans.
‘‘Trump is the one who panicked. His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis, as well, has been unconscionable. And the longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he gets,’’ Biden said.
US voters have cast more than 10 million votes in the presidential election, significantly outpacing the early vote in 2016 and suggesting a large turnout, according to data compiled by the US Elections Project. — Reuters
❛ I will kiss everyone in that audience. I will kiss the guys and the beautiful women; I will give you a big fat kiss