WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump plans to step up an already hectic travel schedule in the last full week of the presidential campaign, ignoring an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the United States and a new epidemic in his own White House. Trump is expected to hit nearly a dozen cases. States in his final push to reclaim land from Democrat Joe Biden, including Sunday’s trip to Maine and Tuesday to Nebraska. Both states allocate electoral votes by congressional district and could be crucial in a close election. He will host 11 rallies in the last 48 hours alone. Biden also plans to resume his travel schedule, aiming to reach the six battlefield states the campaign sees as key to his chances, some with in-person events at social distance and others with virtual events. On Tuesday, the former vice president travels to Georgia, a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for more than a quarter of a century, but where polls point to a close race. campaign faces growing concerns over a public health crisis in the United States Trump is eager for voters to focus on almost everything else, fearing that he will lose if the election turns into a referendum on his handling of the pandemic. Biden is working to make sure the race is just that, hitting Trump on the virus and presenting himself as a safer and more stable alternative. The stakes were clear this weekend as the White House became the venue for a second virus outbreak in a month. . Several close associates of Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for the virus, including his chief of staff, Marc Short. Pence, however, insisted on maintaining his aggressive political calendar, even though he was seen as “close contact” from his advisor, claiming the privileges of being a “core employee”. The latest outbreak has served as a powerful metaphor for the divergent approach the Trump and Biden campaigns have taken against the virus. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that “we are not going to control the pandemic” and that the focus should be on containment and treatment. Trump is aiming to pack thousands of people, most without face masks, in some of the upper Midwestern states that are suffering the brunt of the outbreak. “We want normal life to resume,” Trump said on Sunday. “We just want a normal life.” Meadows, in a hurry to explain why the pandemic cannot be brought under control, said: “Because it’s a contagious virus, just like the flu.” He told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the government was focused on bringing effective drugs and vaccines to market. Biden, in a statement, said Meadows’ comments continued, with the Trump administration waving “the white flag of defeat” at Biden’s team argues the coronavirus is likely to wipe out all other problems that could arise in the final days of the campaign – including Biden’s recent comment at the debate stage in which he claimed he would move away from oil, then later returned as a transition away from federal subsidies. This strategy appeared to be paying off, as the outbreak among Pence staff refocused the national conversation on the pandemic. Trump and his team, meanwhile, struggled to come to a conclusion on a closing message, with the unruly candidate increasingly trusting his instincts over his advisers. He’s grabbed for the filth of his Democratic rival and has used apocalyptic terms to describe a Biden presidency, but Biden has so far been more resistant to such attacks than Trump’s rival in 2016. “You can. definitely expect (Biden) to focus on COVID as it continues. to, unfortunately, increase nationwide, ”Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in an interview. “It disrupts people’s lives and people are looking for a leader to put in place plans to master it.” With more than a third of the expected election ballots already cast, it may become increasingly difficult for Trump and Biden to reshape the contours of the race. Biden leads Trump in most national polls and has an advantage, albeit smaller, in many key battlegrounds. Biden also has more campaign money than Trump and puts it to good use, covering the waves with a nearly 2: 1 advantage over the waves. the last two weeks. Biden’s incessant campaign advertisements mix his ambitious message with harsh criticism of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and it’s part of what Josh Schwerin, chief strategist at Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, said he had. helped Biden gain an advantage. The dual message – continuing to create a contrast with Trump, but also delivering this ambitious positive message, giving people a reason to vote for Biden and not just against Trump – continues to be the best way forward. And we see it working, ”he said. Indeed, Biden has seen his favorability ratings rise steadily over the course of the campaign, despite a barrage of attacks from Republicans, as Trump remains underwater in such polls. Democrats were also encouraged by their lead in the record number of early votes cast in a number of battlefield states – though they warn Republicans are more likely to run on Election Day and are sure to catch up. , several Democrats described “PTSD of 2016” which keeps them awake at night a week after polling day. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also took a lead in national polls and in some states, and Democrats say their complacency subsequently doomed their candidate. Now, with the pandemic and the record number of postal and postal ballots injecting a greater level of uncertainty into the election, Democrats are reluctant to let their guard down. Biden’s campaign will focus last week on producing what they’ve dubbed the “Biden Coalition” – Black and Latino voters, as well as whites, women, and older, suburban voters with college graduates , unhappy with Trump. “What we see all the time is that there aren’t many voters left undecided, and at this point in the race is really about participation. It’s about educating voters to make sure they know how to vote, and that’s about making sure they participate, “Bedingfield said. Biden’s campaign has underscored the need for Democrats to stay engaged even as the polls appear favor their candidate. In a recent memo, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said that “in a number of critical states we are functionally linked” and warned supporters that “every indication we have shows that this thing is going fall on the wire. “Bedingfield says this is a message the campaign will continue to deliver on November 3.” One thing that we have spoken out a lot is that we believe the race is tighter than what a lot of public polls suggest, “she said.” We are constantly working to make sure people understand that there is an emergency here, and that we cannot be complacent. ” ___ Jaffe reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press editors Aamer Madhani and Jonathan Lemire in Washington contributed to this report. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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