In final days of campaign, Trump criticizes those fighting coronavirus




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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald is spending the closing days his re-election campaign criticizing public and medical professionals are trying to combat the coronavirus pandemic even as it surges back across the United States.

Campaigning in the Midwest on Friday, delivered a closing message that promised an economic revival and a vaccine to combat COVID-19, which is pushing hospitals to capacity and to 1,000 people in the United States each day.

But he also directed attacks beyond just his rival in Tuesday’s election, Democrat Joe Biden.

falsely said earn more when their patients die the disease, building on his past criticism medical experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s infectious diseases expert.

The president criticized Democratic in Minnesota for enforcing social-distancing rules that limited his rally to 250 people. “It’s a small thing, but a horrible thing,” he said.

 

Opinion polls show Trump trailing Biden nationally, but with a closer contest in the most competitive states that will decide the election. Voters say the coronavirus is their concern.

Biden, for his part, has accused Trump giving in the fight against the disease, which has killed almost 229,000 people in the United States.

 

Biden’s campaign has sharply limited crowd sizes at events or restricted supporters to their cars.

On Saturday, Trump will travel to Pennsylvania, campaigning in the cities of Newtown, Reading and Butler.

The state has not as yet seen the dramatic rises in coronavirus cases that are threatening hospital capacity in Wisconsin and other battleground states. Still, nearly 8,700 people in the state have died of the disease this year.

Biden, 77, will campaign in Michigan, joined by President Barack Obama, for whom he served as vice president.

Trump, 74, won both Pennsylvania and Michigan by narrow margins in his surprise 2016 . Reuters/Ipsos opinion polls show Biden leading Trump by 5 percentage points in Pennsylvania and 9 points in Michigan.

RECORD TURNOUT

Analysts expect record turnout in the election. At least 86 million Americans have already cast ballots in person or through the mail, according to the of Florida’s Elections Project, or 63% of the total 2016 turnout.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in ballots are susceptible to fraud and has more recently argued that only the available on election night should count. In a flurry of legal motions, his campaign has sought to restrict absentee balloting.

in several states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, say it could take several days to count all of those mail ballots, meaning there could be days of uncertainty if the outcome hinges on those states.

Security officials are preparing for a range of possible threats, from spontaneous acts of violence to more organized, planned attacks. In downtown Washington, workers on Friday boarded storefronts near the to protect against possible damage.

(Reuters)