US Election Wrap, October 18 | Trump’s Midwest campaigning agenda: Attacking Democrats, downplaying virus

By: Express Web Desk | Kolkata |

Updated: October 18, 2020 4:04:18 pm

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally to support law enforcement at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Janesville, Wis. (Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP)

With two weeks to go for Election Day in the US, Donald Trump has ramped up attacks against the left and has been trying to tap into fears of his voter-base. At campaign rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday, Trump accused the left of trying to “destroy the American way of life” and of wanting to “erase American history” and “purge American values”, the Associated Press reported. After some polls have shown Trump lagging behind Democratic opponent Joe Biden, reports suggest that Trump has been concerned that he may lose the elections.

AP reported Trump saying “Can you imagine if I lose? I will have lost to the worst candidate in the history of American politics…What do I do?” Read the report here

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At the rally in Michigan, Trump criticized Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her policies to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state. Trump’s supporters gathered in crowds responded with shouts of “lock her up”, according to a Reuters report. The US has some of the highest rates of coronavirus infections and deaths and the White House has been criticised for its mishandling of the pandemic. The phrase had also been used in the run-up to the 2016 elections when Trump supporters used it in the context of Hillary Clinton. Read it here.

The AP reports that Trump is continuing to downplay the severity of coronavirus, particularly the failings of his own administration in curbing its spread in the country, in an attempt to prevent his mishandling of the pandemic from affecting his chances at a second term in office. “In the past week he has spread misinformation about the virus, undercut the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and kept up his practice of shunning mask use. The effort to diminish the virus has gone into overdrive as Democrats try to frame the race for the White House as a referendum on Trump’s handling of the worst U.S. public health crisis in over a century,” the AP said. Read it here

Despite the White House’s attempts to downplay the effect of coronavirus, some Republican allies who have been infected themselves have started urging people to wear face masks. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one such Trump ally who has been asking people to take coronavirus “seriously” after he was admitted in intensive care for several days with coronavirus. BBC reported Christie saying: “I was wrong to not wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the President and the rest of the team.” Read the report here.

Over the past few days Trump has repeatedly attacked Biden accusing him of engaging in wrongdoing in regards to Ukraine and China while he was vice-president in the Obama administration. This issue resurfaced after a recent New York Post on the involvement of Biden’s son Hunter, which the Biden campaign has denied. With days to go before the elections, it doesn’t appear that this issue will die down anytime soon. The BBC has an explainer on the entire controversy. Read it here.

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