HAVANA TIMES – President Trump and Joe Biden held competing campaign rallies just miles apart Thursday in the battleground state of Florida — which is also a “red zone” hot spot for the coronavirus. Biden held a drive-in rally in Tampa, where supporters were required to wear masks and to practice social distancing.
Joe Biden: “Donald Trump refuses to listen to science. And we shouldn’t be politicizing the race for a vaccine. We should be planning for its safe use and free and equitable distribution, proving PPE for national standards for schools, businesses to open safely. I laid out a plan back in May how to do that.”
Trump was close by for his rally
Just 10 miles away, President Trump spoke to a crowd of thousands of mostly unmasked supporters, who rallied shoulder to shoulder on the day the U.S. shattered its record for new coronavirus infections. Trump promised the country would remain open for business, no matter what.
President Donald Trump: “We’re never going to lock down again. We locked down, we understood the disease, and now we’re open for business. And that’s what it is.”
Trump’s rally came as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 228,000, with over 9 million confirmed cases since March.
President Donald Trump: “You know the bottom line, though? You’re going to get better. You’re going to get better. If I can get better, anybody can get better. And I got better fast.”
Nearly a dozen Trump supporters at Thursday’s rally in Tampa were hospitalized after waiting for hours in the searing heat and humidity. From the podium, Trump mocked firefighters who sprayed the crowd with water to help cool people off.
President Donald Trump: “They may be doing that on purpose. Let’s find out if they’re friend or foe. And if they’re foe, let’s take care of those son of a bitches.”
This follows seven hospitalizations for hypothermia that followed a Trump rally in Omaha Tuesday evening after the Trump campaign failed to provide enough buses for supporters. They were left waiting in the freezing cold for hours. Meanwhile, a CNN study finds 82% of counties where President Trump held a campaign rally experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases afterward.