Senin, 14 September 2020

Donald Trump revs up race to catch Joe Biden - The Australian

Donald Trump works the crowd at a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada. Picture: AFP
Donald Trump works the crowd at a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada. Picture: AFP

Donald Trump has launched a scorched-earth drive to catch his opponent Joe Biden with just seven weeks until the US election, holding his first large indoor rally in months.

Mr Trump is looking for a game-changing moment to catch Mr Biden, who leads national polls by 7.5 percentage points as the campaign enters its final countdown.

While the President still trails Mr Biden in the national polls, the news is better for Mr Trump in some key swing states.

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Mr Biden leads the President by just 4.2 points in Michigan, 4.3 points in Pennsylvania, 6.3 points in Wisconsin and 4.5 points in Arizona.

The rally on Sunday (Monday AEST) in Henderson, Nevada, was held despite warnings from local authorities that he was breaching state coronavirus laws as large numbers of supporters, most without masks, cheered on the President.

The brazen decision to defy coronavirus-­related safety protocols heralds a new phase in the increasingly bitter contest with the former vice-president.

In Florida, Mr Biden’s lead has narrowed from more than five points last month to 1.2 points, prompting the Democrat nominee to announce plans to travel to the state this week in an attempt to halt the swing towards Mr Trump.

The President’s indoor rally in Henderson was the first since his disastrous June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which drew a smaller than expected crowd and resulted in a spike in coronavirus ­infections.

United States Studies Centre CEO Simon Jackman says US President Donald Trump was in his comfort zone at the major rally in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since then, the President has held only smaller rallies, often in open-air airport hangars, but the Henderson rally was the first attempt at a major indoor rally despite the ongoing high level of coronavirus infections in the US.

Mr Trump has been pushing his advisers to agree to larger ­rallies, believing they energise his supporters and add momentum to his campaign.

Local officials in Henderson warned the President that the rally breached local guidelines that “gatherings of more than 50 people in a private or public setting is prohibited”.

The Biden campaign said the decision to hold the indoor rally was “the same toxic attitude that has crippled Trump’s incoherent pandemic response, cost over 193,000 Americans their lives, killed millions of jobs, and needlessly torn the nation apart when we need to come together in this moment of crisis”.

The Trump campaign maintained that the event was safe, saying all attendees had temperature checks and were given masks and access to hand sanitisers.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday called President Donald Trump a "climate arsonist" for denying climate change amid wildfires and hurricanes ravaging parts of the United States in recent months.

“If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.

The Democratic Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, said: ­“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada. The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global ­pandemic.”

In his speech, Mr Trump told the crowd that the country was turning the corner in its fight against the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of almost 200,000 Americans, with almost 1000 people dying each day.

“We will very easily defeat the China virus,” he said.

“We are not shutting the country again.

“A shutdown would destroy the lives and dreams of millions of Americans.”

Cameron Stewart is also US contributor for Sky News Australia

Washington Correspondent

Cameron Stewart has been The Australian’s Washington Correspondent covering North America since early 2017. This is his second US posting, having previously been The Australian’s New York correspondent the lat...

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2020-09-14 20:48:45Z

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