President Donald Trump has returned back to the campaign trail less than two weeks after testing positive for COVID.
He told a large number of allies, numerous not wearing masks, that he could give them “a big fat kiss”, at a rally in the battleground state of Florida.
His rival, Joe Biden, talking in Ohio, accused the president for “reckless behavior” since his analysis.
The two presidential candidates are scrambling to protect votes with three weeks until the 3 November election.
Opinion polls suggest Mr. Biden has a 10-point lead over Mr. Trump nationally. However, his lead in some key states is narrower – as is the case in Florida, where the Democrat is 3.7 points ahead, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.
Battlegrounds like Florida and Ohio are significant for gathering the 270 Electoral College votes expected to win the White House, which is not determined by a simple popular ballot count.
Mr. Trump tested positive for Covid-19 some 11 days ago and was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center a day later.
In any case, on Sunday his personal doctor said he was not, at this point a Covid transmission danger to other people and revealed on Monday that his latest tests were negative over consecutive days, although he did not give the dates.
What Did Trump Say At The Rally?
In his first stump appearance following his Covid-19 diagnosis and recovery, a re-invigorated Mr. Trump got back to his campaign’s familiar themes and lines of attack against Mr. Biden.
He touted stock market growth, the establishment of the US Space Force and his successful confirmation of two conservative Supreme Court justices to the bench – with a third nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, before the Senate this week – as major achievements.
Before to a crowd of several thousand, he denounced plans to prolong out shutdowns supported by Democrats and sought to question Mr. Biden’s mental acuity.
Referring to his own recovery from Covid-19, he said at a certain point: “They state I’m immune – I feel so powerful. I’ll walk in there and kiss everybody. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, I’ll give you a big, fat kiss.”
Despite the fact that reinfections of the infection stay rare scientists are as yet questioning how much immunity can be developed to the virus.
Why Is Florida So Important?
It was no surprise that Florida – known as the Sunshine State – is where Mr. Trump made his big rally return.
He wants and needs to win Florida, a state he narrowly carried in 2016. It is also his adopted home. A lifelong New Yorker, he made himself a Florida resident a year ago in September.
Close races in crucial states mean he may yet win re-election by catching key electoral college-rich territories.
Florida is among the six states with the largest number of Electoral College votes – 29 of the total of 538 up for grabs.
Mr. Trump is stopping in a further three battleground states this week – Pennsylvania (with 20 Electoral College votes), Iowa (6) and North Carolina (15).
The president’s rally in Florida showed little sign that Mr Trump had been chastened by his illness, and events later in the week are unlikely to exhibit changes in his approach to coronavirus precautions.
Critics have disparaged him for not encouraging people to wear protective masks or abide by social distancing guidelines.
What About Joe Biden?
Mr. Biden, who made two appearances in the key state of Ohio on Monday, attacked the president’s crusading approach, saying that he “comes to Sanford bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric and fear mongering”.
The 77-year-old has taken a more cautious approach to campaigning, with his team announcing on Monday that he had tried negative for the infection again.
The Democrat is due to appear in Florida on Tuesday.
This news is originally posted on BBC