Democratic nominee Joe Biden plans to travel Tuesday to Gettysburg, Pa., the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, to make what aides say will be a call for national unity while President Trump continues his recovery from the coronavirus.
Trump made a dramatic return to the White House on Monday evening, removing his mask while standing on a balcony, after being discharged from the hospital. His doctor described the president’s condition as improving, although he said Trump is “not out of the woods yet.”
Biden’s lead over Trump nationally has expanded to 16 percentage points with less than a month remaining until Election Day, according to new CNN-SSRS poll.
In the survey released Tuesday, 57 percent of likely voters said they back Biden, compared with 41 percent who said they support Trump.
CNN said the poll was conducted entirely after last week’s first debate between Trump and Biden and mostly after Trump’s coronavirus infection was made public.
Another poll released Sunday by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News also showed Biden’s lead expanding, to 14 percentage points among registered voters, in the wake of the debate.
That poll was conducted in the two days after last Tuesday’s debate but before Trump tested positive for the coronavirus and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
A Washington Post average of national polls conducted since Sept. 1, most of them before the debate, shows Biden with a somewhat smaller lead of nine percentage points.
The CNN-SSRS poll also finds that among voters who watched last week’s debate, 57 percent said Biden did the best job, while 26 percent said Trump did better. An additional 14 percent say that neither did that well.
Biden plans to travel Tuesday to Gettysburg, Pa., the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, to deliver what aides say will be a call for national unity.
“Gettysburg has deep significance and symbolism for both the cost of division and the strength of American ideals,” said a Biden aide, who requested anonymity to preview the speech. “In his remarks, Biden will call on Americans to come together. He’ll highlight the need for people to work together and to reach across the aisle in order to address the crises we face. He’ll remind voters that we are in a battle for the soul of the nation — but it’s a battle that we’ve won again and again throughout American history, and that we can and will come together and win again.”
Pennsylvania is a key battleground in the race for the White House.
In 2016, Trump carried the state by less than a percentage point over Democrat Hillary Clinton. A Washington Post average of recent polls from the state shows Biden leading Trump by seven percentage points.
Meanwhile, Jill Biden, the Democratic nominee’s wife, plans to hold multiple events Tuesday in North Carolina, another battleground state that Trump carried four years ago.
The vice-presidential debate set for Wednesday will feature plexiglass barriers between Vice President Pence (R), Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and the moderator, organizers said Monday, amid a growing dispute over whether in-person debates should be held at all.[In her first race, Kamala Harris learned how to become a political brawler]
The Commission on Presidential Debates agreed to the request from the Biden campaign. Representatives of the Trump team did not object, although “they didn’t want the vice president surrounded by plexiglass,” said commission co-chairman Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. “They don’t want to have him in what looks like a box.”
Top Pence advisers said late Monday they did not support plexiglass for their candidate and that discussions were ongoing.
Trump, who is still contagious with the coronavirus, made a dramatic return to the White House after his discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday night: He took his mask off for the cameras, flashed a thumbs up and kept the mask off to walk into the building as he was greeted by mask-wearing aides.
Trump — who also instructed Americans on video not to “be afraid” of the coronavirus that has killed more than 209,000 people in the United States or “let it dominate your life” — is not exactly in isolation.
While many political staffers are working from home since more than a dozen White House officials tested positive in recent days (turning the West Wing into a “total ghost town,” in the words of one aide), there is an entire staff of people who work in the residence and do not have that option, from housekeepers to cooks and valets.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a television interview Monday night that she is “feeling great” after testing positive for the coronavirus, and she praised Trump for his efforts to push for therapeutics and a vaccine.
“I’m feeling great. I’m having no symptoms. I’m very blessed to have a mild case,” McEnany said during an on-camera interview on Fox News, in which she also referenced Trump’s return to the White House.[A hiatus for the Kayleigh McEnany show? Coronavirus sidelines another potent Trump surrogate.]
“I am pleased to see our commander in chief is doing well,” McEnany told host Sean Hannity. “Watching him on the balcony just showing that we will overcome, America will overcome just as he is overcoming this illness, I think was a really nice moment for our country to see.”
She also touted the development of “landmark treatments and therapeutics” for the virus and praised Trump for pushing the private sector and government regulators to develop a vaccine.
“We can thank president Trump for all of that,” McEnany said.
Shortly after being discharged from the hospital treating him for the novel coronavirus, Trump on Monday climbed onto a White House balcony — and then peeled off his mask to salute Marine One as it flew away. After waving, Trump turned to go inside, still maskless.
Following a weekend of mounting horror among medical professionals and commentators fretting over Trump’s handling of his own infection, his actions Monday — particularly removing his mask and walking into a room frequented by White House staff — left them worried and frustrated yet again.
“What White House staffer would still wanna go to work tomorrow???” Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist with the Federation of American Scientists, said in a tweet Monday night. “Epidemiologists just wanna vomit.”
Trump left an elite medical center Monday evening, even as his doctors acknowledged that they were entering “uncharted territory” and — citing privacy laws — continued to withhold information that could illuminate the president’s prognosis for recovering from covid-19.
Trump’s determination to appear in control in the waning weeks of the presidential race left unclear whether he or his doctors were calling the shots, especially because members of his medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center continued to cherry-pick what they shared with the public. They said his oxygen levels were normal and he had no fever, but refused to answer questions about results from lung scans, his last negative test for the coronavirus or why he is receiving the steroid dexamethasone, typically reserved for patients with severe illness.
The president returns to the White House at a fraught moment in his recovery — before he has seemingly escaped a period when some patients are known to crash.
He wore a suit and tie for his flight to the hospital. He posed for photos signing blank pieces of paper. He recorded videos declaring himself recovering. He inspired aides to describe him as hard at work. And the infectious patient briefly left the hospital for a drive to wave at supporters.
Throughout his four-day hospitalization with the novel coronavirus, during which time he was administered a cocktail of steroids and therapeutic drugs, Trump strove to convince the public that he was fully in charge — not only of the country he leads, but also of his own body and care — even if it was not the case.
“Feeling really good!” he wrote Monday on Twitter from his chambers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as he announced his forthcoming discharge. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”
President Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Follow live updates on the election, Trump and coronavirus here. Here’s what his allies and advisers are reporting on their test results. In the wake of the president’s diagnosis, the Biden campaign has vowed to disclose all test results.
Democrats Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris hold a steady lead over President Trump and Vice President Pence, with an edge of 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, according to the latest Post-ABC News poll. Biden also leads Trump in the key battleground of Pennsylvania.
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Electoral college map: Who actually votes, and who do they vote for? Explore how shifts in turnout and voting patterns for key demographic groups could affect the presidential race.
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Coming up: Trump and Biden are scheduled to debate three times this fall; here’s what to know about the 2020 presidential debates. Are you planning on watching the debate? The Washington Post wants to hear from you.
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