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Pandemic will end soon, claims Trump

Campaign heat: Donald Trump waving to the crowd at a campaign rally in Pensacola on Friday.   | Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN

President Donald Trump promised supporters in Florida on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic would end soon and accused Democratic rival Joe Biden of overstating the health crisis to scare Americans into voting for him.

The pandemic, which has killed more than 2,24,000 people in the United States and cost millions more their jobs, has become the dominant issue of the campaign, with Mr. Trump on the defensive over his administration’s handling of the crisis.

Comprehensive Bill

Mr. Biden earlier in the day said Mr. Trump had given up on containing the virus and promised if he wins the November 3 election, he will ask Congress to pass a comprehensive COVID-19 Bill that he would sign within the first 10 days of taking office.

“He’s quit on America. He just wants us to grow numb,” Mr. Biden said during a speech in his home city of Wilmington, Delaware. “I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m going to shut down the virus.”

During two rallies in the battleground state of Florida, Mr. Trump mocked Mr. Biden for saying in Thursday night’s presidential debate that the U.S. was entering a “dark winter.”

He said the former Vice-President and his Democratic allies were trying to scare people by overstating the virus threat.

“We’re going to quickly end this pandemic,” Mr. Trump, who has played down the threat since it started, said in The Villages, a sprawling retirement community in central Florida.

Later, Mr. Trump told a big crowd in Pensacola that the election was a choice “between a boom and a lockdown.”

Warning by researchers

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation warned on Friday that the virus could kill more than half a million people in the U.S. by the end of February 2021. Roughly 1,30,000 lives could be saved if everybody wore masks, according to the study.

The campaign stops followed the second and final debate between the two contenders on Thursday night, when Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump sparred over how to handle the pandemic.

Mr. Trump’s campaign said on Friday it had raised $26 million around the debate. Mr. Biden’s campaign, which has trounced Mr. Trump in the money race in recent months, did not release a fundraising figure from the debate but sent out appeals saying they were outraised.

With 11 days left until the election, more than 53 million Americans have already voted, a record-setting pace, according to the University of Florida’s Elections Project. Michael McDonald, who administers the project, has said the election could set a modern turnout record, surpassing the 60% participation rate of recent presidential elections.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 7:04:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pandemic-will-end-soon-claims-trump/article32937496.ece

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