With less than a week of voting left in the US presidential election, President Donald Trump on Wednesday maintained a whirlwind schedule, holding an in-person campaign rally in Arizona despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.
In his first rally of the day, in Bullhead City, Arizona the president started by mentioning a just-released survey of showing him trailing in Wisconsin, a key mid-west swing state, by 17 points.
It was a “fake poll”, he said, adding that his data on a state that helped deliver the White House to him in 2016 showed that he was up by one point.
Over the course of four rallies in four states in the past 24 hours, the president has claimed he’s ahead and surging in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona – all battleground states.
“We’re going to have a great, great red wave,” he said in Arizona, predicting that his supporters will cast ballots on Election Day, once again carrying him to victory despite predictions he may be on the verge of defeat.
Trump then urged states to shun lockdowns as his Democratic rival Joe Biden said the pandemic could not be stopped by “flipping a switch”.
Coronavirus deaths are rising in 39 US states and an average of about 800 people are dying daily nationwide.
“If you vote for Joe Biden it means no kids in school, no graduations, no weddings, no thanksgivings, no Christmas, and no Fourth of July together,” Trump warned. “Other than that you’ll have a wonderful life. Can’t see anybody, but that’s alright.”
He cast the election as “a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression” and praised Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for his decision to open up businesses after being a national hotspot for the virus in June and early July.
“You had a spike and he just sort of did what he had to do and your state is fully open. Good job,” Trump said of Ducey, a Republican.
Trump also spoke his own experience contracting COVID-19, saying he “felt like superman” after receiving an experimental antibody cocktail.
“I wanted to rip my shirt off,” Trump said, which prompted the crowd to chant, “Super Trump.”
Trump again slammed Biden as “the worst candidate ever to run in the history of a presidential election.”
As Trump attacked his opponent as someone who is “campaigning on the fact that he is going to raise your taxes,” the crowd chanted, “Lock him up.”
The critical states of Florida and North Carolina are next on President Trump’s campaign list. Joe Biden is also due to campaign in Florida on Thursday.
The Democrat has a solid national lead over Trump six days before the November election 3.
But Biden’s advantage is narrower in the handful of US states that could vote either way and ultimately decide who wins the White House.
More than 75 million Americans have voted early, nearly 50 million of them by post, in a record-breaking voting surge driven by the pandemic.