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President Trump plans to stage a rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday as he ramps up travel following his return to the campaign trail, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden is heading to Florida with an eye toward courting senior citizens and boosting turnout among Black voters.
Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), will get an opportunity to grill Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, as her confirmation hearing continues in Washington. Meanwhile, Vice President Pence plans an appearance in Wisconsin.
Trump, who entered the final stretch of the race with less cash to spend than Biden, asserted again early Tuesday that he is willing to spend personal money on his campaign — a move that would be highly unusual for an incumbent seeking reelection.
“I keep reading Fake News stories that my campaign is running low on money. Not true, & if it were so, I would put up money myself,” Trump tweeted. He said he has more money to spend than he did four years ago in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Much of the money we have spent is on our ground game, said to be the best ever put together,” Trump said. “I’ll let you know how good it is on November 3rd. Very expensive to do, but opportunity could be BIG! I will spend additional money if we are not spending enough!”
In 2016, Trump spent about $65 million of his own money on his campaign.
“Donald Trump is lying about Medicare and Social Security. Trump is pushing to slash Medicare benefits.”
— Voice-over in new Joe Biden campaign ad, released Oct. 9, 2020
We were a little surprised when we first saw this ad, as we were unaware of any Trump proposal or policy effort to cut Medicare benefits. There is no citation or explanation given for this claim in the ad, which further puzzled us. Normally, attack ads try to offer verisimilitude by citing news articles or reports.
The explanation from the Biden campaign was also surprising. So let’s explore this claim in detail. It’s an interesting and complex story.
Sean P. Conley, Trump’s doctor, said Monday that the president recently tested negative for the coronavirus on “consecutive days,” although he did not specify which days.
Conley added that the negative tests were among several factors contributing to the conclusion by Trump’s medical team that the president “is not infectious to others.”
“In response to your inquiry regarding the President’s most recent COVID-19 tests, I can share with you that he has tested NEGATIVE, on consecutive days, using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card,” Conley said in a letter shared on Twitter by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“It is important to note that this test was not used in isolation for the determination of the President’s current negative status,” Conley said.
The Abbott Laboratories test produces quick results but has a greater chance of a false negative than the more reliable polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test.
McEnany’s release of the letter came as Trump headed to Florida for his first campaign rally post-diagnosis.
“It’s a bit frustrating to see the health information about the progress of the president’s covid-19 illness come out in drips and drabs, or with opaqueness around his testing and current status,” Peter Hotez, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine, said in an email.
“Presidential medicine can be problematic because it often has to thread the needle between what the American people need to know and patient-protected information,” Hotez added. But, he said, “the president is out and about in public on the campaign trail. It would be helpful to know if the president is asymptomatic for covid-19, and if after 10 days he now has two negative PCR tests spaced 24 hours apart.”
Hotez said that “in some hospital-based studies, severely ill patients shed virus for a median of 0-20 days,” according to the World Health Organization.
As Trump boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Monday afternoon, he was not wearing a mask. Footage of the crowd awaiting Trump at the rally site in Sanford, Fla., showed many of his supporters not wearing masks, either.
In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Trump, with 54 percent of likely voters favoring him vs. 42 percent for Trump.
How to vote: Find out the rules in your state. Some states have already started sending out mail ballots; see how to make sure yours counts. Absentee and mail ballots are two terms for the same thing, mostly used interchangeably. Barring a landslide, we may not have a result in the presidential election on Nov. 3. Are you running into voting problems? Let us know.
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.
Battlegrounds: These are the 50 political states of America. Dive into Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Ohio, and sign up for The Trailer and get more states, plus more news and insight from the trail, in your inbox three days a week.
Coming up: Trump and Biden are scheduled to debate one more time this fall; here’s what to know about the 2020 presidential debates.
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