President Donald Trump hit the campaign trail for the first time since his coronavirus diagnosis.
Trump attended a rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday, before thousands of supporters who were standing shoulder to shoulder. The majority of those in attendance were not donning face coverings, flouting public health recommendations.
After the president boarded Air Force One for the flight to Florida, presidential physician Dr. Sean Conley confirmed that Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus and is no longer infectious.
Trump declared himself “immune" from the coronavirus to his supporters on Monday.
“Now they say I am immune. I feel so powerful. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience,” Trump told supporters. “I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and every mouth. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.”
Florida is a crucial state for Trump to win re-election. While Biden is leading in most major polls in the state, most polls show Biden’s lead is within the margin of error. Only one major poll, last week’s Quinnipiac survey, had Biden’s lead ahead of the margin of error.
Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden stumped in Cincinnati. Based on polling, Ohio has become a toss-up state after Trump won the state in 2016 by 8%. The five most recent presidential polls in Ohio showed the race within the margin of error. Three of the polls gave Biden a slight edge, one poll had the race tied, and another poll gave Trump a slight lead.
Biden’s Ohio rally will be akin to a drive-in, with supporters spaced out in a parking lot.
The backdrop of the rallies are amid a rise in coronavirus cases throughout the US. On Friday, Ohio reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in a single day with 1,840 confirmed infections. Florida though is among a handful of states seeing a decrease in cases following a summer surge. While cases are declining, coronavirus-related deaths have remained high in the state. All told, the coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 15,000 Floridians.
Voters have just 22 days to decide on a presidential candidate.