President Donald Trump and his rival democrat Joe Biden have conducted dueling rallies in Florida.
Mr. Biden told supporters, “You hold the power. If Florida goes blue [Democratic], it’s over.”
Whereas, Republican president Donald Trump said of his challenger, “He’s going to lock you down.”
Florida is a must-win for Mr Trump and a key opinion poll average shows him just 1.4 points behind Mr Biden, which amounts to a statistical dead heat.
What did Trump say?
Donald Trump spoke to a rally in Tampa on Thursday. He said in a new federal projection that the US economy had expanded at an unprecedented 33.1% annual rate in the most recent quarter, following a record 31% contraction in the previous three months during the coronavirus crash.
He said to the crowd, “Joe Biden plans to deliver punishing [coronavirus] lockdowns. He’s going to lock you down.” Many in the crowd were not wearing face coverings.
“Look, we were compared to Europe,” noted the president. “‘Germany is doing so well, France is doing so well, everyone’s doing so well.’ No, they’re not doing well.”
He also talked about European allies. He said, “They’re spiking up big, they’re shutting down, they’re locking down.
“I disagree with that because we’re never going to lockdown again. We locked down, we understood the disease and now we’re open for business.”
US first lady Melania Trump introduced him. She said, “We are a country of hope, not a country of fear or weakness, and we have a leader who shows us that every single day.”
What did Biden say?
The White House challenger Joe Biden spoke at a drive-in rally at a college in Broward County, north of Miami, on Thursday.
“I do miss the opportunity to just wander in and shake hands with all of you, but we decided a while ago that we were going to try to be responsible,” he said.
He also thanked attendees, many of them were in their cars to avoid Covid-19 spread.
Mr. Biden said about Trump and coronavirus pandemic, “Donald Trump has given up,”
Mr. Biden urged a national mask mandate, crying, “This is not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty, for God’s sake!”
“President Trump can’t advance democracy and human rights for the Cuban people or the Venezuelan people, for that matter, when he has praised so many autocrats around the world,” Mr. Biden said.