President Donald Trump, recently hospitalized with the coronavirus, has been pushing his reelection campaign to schedule more in-person rallies and other events in the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election.
The president Monday morning was “getting on my case for not having enough rallies and public events scheduled,” senior advisor Jason Miller told reporters in an on-the-record campaign call. “So he’s ready to go.”
Miller also said that in the “home stretch” of the campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump is expected to be out on the campaign trail “at least in the short term, two to three events a day.”
“That will even grow as we get closer to Election Day,” Miller said.
Trump, since revealing on Oct. 2 that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19, has spoken only once before a live audience. At that event at the White House on Saturday, he spoke for less than 20 minutes — a far cry from the typical Trump rallies, which often feature the president delivering remarks at a near-shout for more than an hour and a half without interruption.
The president’s eagerness to get out of the White House — where he has been holed up since leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last Monday — comes as Biden’s national polling lead appears to have grown wider.
Trump’s support among seniors, a large voting bloc that traditionally leans Republican and shows up to vote in high numbers, is also slipping, recent polls show.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien assured on the call that “you’re seeing really good really strong advertising that we’re out of the box with this week that has tremendous appeal to seniors.”
“Whatever perceived slippage you’re seeing in your numbers among seniors, I’m absolutely certain that it will be addressed,” Stepien added.
Health experts have warned that the Trump campaign’s signature events, which are marked by large groups of tightly packed supporters without masks cheering the president, could lead to widespread transmission of the coronavirus.
Some advisors have voiced concerns about the president venturing outside once more so soon after contracting the virus. “He’s going to kill himself,” one Trump advisor said, Axios reported Sunday.
Trump has proclaimed himself cured of the virus, and White House physician Sean Conley has said the president is no longer contagious. But the U.S. is seeing an uptick in the number of daily Covid-19 cases reported on average — more than 50,000 cases a day, according to the seven-day moving average from Johns Hopkins University. And it remains the case that more deaths from the coronavirus have been reported in the U.S. than in any other country.
Trump has three rallies on his schedule this week, the first of which is set for Monday evening in Sanford, Florida. He is also set to speak in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina.
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