Joe Biden, the US Democratic presidential candidate, has criticized Donald Trump’s handling of COVID-19 while courting elderly voters in Florida’s critical battleground state.
Biden said that Trump views seniors who have been more at risk in the COVID-19 pandemic as “expendable” and “forgettable.”
The US President’s appeal
There are sharp policy differences between the two candidates on COVID-19. In Pennsylvania, Trump told thousands of supporters he felt like “Superman” after his COVID treatment.
The president examined positive for the virus on Oct. 1, spent three nights in the hospital, and was freed by doctors to return to the campaign trail at the weekend, holding his opening rally in Florida on Monday.
All about the battleground
Battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania are essential for gathering the 270 elective college votes needed to win the presidential election. Consequently, it is not determined by a single count of votes nationwide.
Opinion polls also suggest Biden has a 10-point advantage over Trump nationally, but his lead in some key states is narrower. In Florida, the Democrat is 3.7 percentage points ahead, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.
Biden’s say in Florida
The Democratic candidate spoke to a group of people at a community center for seniors in southern Florida, with social distancing measures in place.
The event was in severe contrast to the president’s mass rally on Monday in Florida.
Biden accused the president of dismissing the threat that coronavirus posed to senior citizens.
“You’re expendable; you’re forgettable, you’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors. That’s how he sees you,” said Mr. Biden. “The only senior Donald Trump seems to care about is himself,” he added.
Biden also criticized the president for holding super-spreader parties with Republicans hugging each other without concern of the consequences. However, senior citizens couldn’t see their grandchildren.
A recent White House event for the Supreme Court nominee led to several attendees testing positive for COVID.
What the US President says
Trump narrowly won Florida in 2016 as a result buoyed by senior voters. But the latest polls suggest a shift away from the Republican among them this time around.
Also, Trump has regularly mocked Biden as a senior citizen who lacks energy and is sleepy. On Tuesday, the president tweeted a doctored image of Biden as a wheelchair-user and the words “Biden for President,” implying a nursing home.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2020
Subsequently, the President again railed against his Democratic challenger, saying Joe Biden was not a nice guy.
“He’s shot, folks. I hate to tell you; he’s shot. Can you imagine if you lose to a guy like this? It’s unbelievable,” Trump told the audience at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown.
Image courtesy of Ron Adar/Shutterstock