President Donald Trump has commenced his campaign trail less than two weeks after being tested positive for coronavirus.
The rally took place in Florida where he told thousands of supporters who were not wearing masks that he could give them ‘a big fat kiss’.
Joe Biden, his rival, whilst speaking in Ohio accused the president of ‘reckless behavior’ after testing positive to the virus.
With just about three weeks till the Presidential election, both candidates are slugging it out to win the hearts of Americans.
According to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics, Mr Biden has a 10-point lead over President Trump nationally. However his lead in some key states is narrower – as is the case in Florida, where the Democrat is 3.7 percentage points ahead.
Battlegrounds like Florida and Ohio are critical in determining the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, which is not set by a simple count of votes nationwide.
Anthony Fauci, a top US government scientist stated that holding big campaign rallies was ‘asking for trouble’ as many states are battling an increase in coronavirus cases.
President Trump chanted to the crowd ‘Four more years!’. People have been getting their temperature checked and were offered face masks. Those who covered up didn’t think it was too soon for the president to be out in the rally. They said they admired him for it.
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One of the attendees said he was originally from New York and had made Florida his home – just like ‘his hero’ Donald Trump.
The coronavirus records more than 15,000 deaths in Florida.
The Trump campaign team is giving more concentration to Florida as a loss here makes his return to the White House near impossible. Mike Pence, the Vice-President recently visited “The Villages”, a famous retirement community, to seek the elderly vote.
Joe Biden arrived in the state on Tuesday. Although, his focus is on curbing the pandemic, he plans to hold a quiet but vigorous campaign in key sub-urban areas.
Mr Biden, who made two appearances in the key state of Ohio on Monday, attacked the president’s campaigning approach, saying that ‘he comes to Sanford bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric and fear mongering’.
Whilst speaking on his recovery from Covid-19, President Trump said: ‘They say I’m immune – I feel so powerful. I’ll walk in there and kiss everyone. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, I’ll give you a big, fat kiss.’
Few people in the crowd did not adhere to the public health guidelines to keep at least 6ft (2m) apart in order to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Others were not wearing masks.
Dr Fauci whilst speaking to CNN said it was not the time to be holding full campaign rallies as the country battles the pandemic. ‘We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,’ he said.
He added that ‘now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome.’
President Trump will further visit three battleground states this week – Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina.