LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joe Biden said Wednesday he’s “not running on the false promises of being able to end this pandemic by flipping a switch” but would prioritize science, while President Donald Trump used the race’s final days to keep up a whirlwind campaign schedule aimed at focusing on anything but the cornavirus.
The Democratic presidential nominee tried to keep the focus on health care, arguing that a Supreme Court conservative majority stretched to 6-3 by newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett could dismantle the Obama administration’s signature health law and leave millions of Americans with preexisting conditions devoid of insurance coverage.
Biden kept most of his focus on the virus, saying Trump’s handling of the pandemic was an “insult” to its victims, especially as cases rise dramatically around the country.
“Even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic,” Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives. “I’m not running on the false promises of being able to end this pandemic by flipping a switch. But I do promise this: We will start on day one doing the right things.”
Trump began the day in Las Vegas but was set to hold two rallies in Arizona, including one just across the Colorado River from Nevada that he hoped to use to appeal to voters in that state, hoping to flip it from blue to red.
The president was under pressure to avoid one negative result of a September rally in Nevada that attracted thousands of people: The airport that hosted that event was fined more than $5,500 for violating crowd restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Rather than curb the crowds as virus cases spike across the U.S., Trump is simply shifting his event across the banks of the Colorado River to Bullhead City, Arizona. It’s the latest example of Trump’s efforts to downplay the virus and criticize Democratic leaders in states such as Nevada who have imposed limits on gatherings to combat the worst public health crisis in more than a century.
Trump held an outdoor rally in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday night. After he left, police took some attendees to the hospital, worried about exposure to the cold. The Trump campaign said it sent it a series of shuttlebuses to help the crowd disperse, but Biden said Trump “gets his photo op and then gets out.”
With less than a week until Election Day, Trump is trailing Biden in most national polls. Biden also has an advantage, though narrower, in the key swing states that could decide the election.