Biden, Obama slam Trump Covid response, president stays optimistic


WAUKESHA, United States, Oct 25, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – An energized Joe
Biden and Barack Obama on Saturday accused Donald Trump of a massive
screw-up in his handling of the coronavirus, but the US president
remained ebullient despite trailing in polls with 10 days to go until
the election.

Trump plowed through three campaign rallies in one day, targeting
separate battleground states as he sought to close the gap with Biden.

But the president’s efforts have been inescapably overshadowed by a
grim reality: the US set a daily record for new Covid-19 cases for the
second day in a row on Saturday, at nearly 89,000, with a further
surge expected as cold weather arrives.

The virus has claimed more than 224,000 American lives, with no end
in sight, and a majority of voters say Trump has handled the crisis

“That’s Donald Trump’s presidency,” Biden said Saturday during a
drive-in rally, one of two events in his native Pennsylvania, a
critical swing state. He spoke from a stage decorated with bales of
hay and Halloween pumpkins.

“Donald Trump said, and is still saying, we’re rounding the corner.
It’s going away. We’re learning how to live with it.”

Biden added: “We’re not learning how to live with it. You’re asking
us to learn how to die with it and it’s wrong.”

The Biden campaign also deployed a key surrogate, former president
Barack Obama, who slammed the Trump administration’s Covid-19

“The idea that somehow this White House has done anything but
completely screw this thing up is nonsense,” Obama told supporters at
a drive-in rally in Miami, Florida.

“Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us. He can’t
even take the basic steps to protect himself,” Obama added, referring
to Trump’s hospitalization for Covid-19 three weeks ago.

Also slamming the president’s failure to denounce white supremacy,
and the many times he has lied in public, among other issues, Obama
called on supporters to vote for his former vice president.

“We can make things better… That’s what voting is about, not
making things perfect, but making things better,” he said.

“If we vote up and down the ticket like never before, we will elect
Joe Biden.”

– ‘I get it’ –

Trump shrugged off Obama’s criticism, saying on Twitter that the
former president had only “47 people” at his event.

“No energy, but still better than Joe!” he quipped.

And he shrugged off polls which continue to show his Democratic
rival Biden leading the race.

“They want to depress you,” he said of the political and media
outlets reporting the numbers. “These polls are much better than four
years ago.”

“This election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a
Biden depression,” he told supporters under a hot sun in North
Carolina, highlighting promises of a cure to Covid-19 and a rapid
economic recovery.

Biden has a firm lead in national polls, and narrower leads in many
battleground states like Florida that typically decide the winner of
US presidential elections.

But Democrats are not about to forget the stunning upset Trump
pulled off in 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton, and Biden worked
to chip away at Trump supporters Saturday.

“I understand why some people voted for Donald Trump, they believe
they weren’t seen, or being respected or heard… I get it. But then
he got elected, he immediately forgot the Forgotten Man,” he said at a
second rally in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

“You know, you’ll be seen and you’re heard and respected by me…
if elected president, there’ll be no red states or blue states, only
the United States,” he said.

Trump’s current grueling travels aim to repeat his 2016 feat.

Earlier Saturday, Trump cast his own vote at a public library in
Florida, telling reporters with a smile: “I voted for a guy named

He thus became one of nearly 55 million Americans to cast early
ballots in a year when the coronavirus has made in-person voting

Campaigning at a frenetic pace, Trump then hop-scotched from North
Carolina to Ohio, and later to Wisconsin, where he doubled down on his
optimism, repeating claims that the country is “rounding the turn” of
the pandemic.

Referring to earlier comments by Biden warning of a “dark winter”
with Covid-19, Trump said he thought his rival was “very dark.”

“They say you sound too optimistic,” he added of himself. “That’s
right, because I love this country. We’re optimists… Our country
next year will be greater than ever before.”