Miami, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- An energized United States president on Monday returned to the campaign trail with his first rally since his hospitalization for COVID-19, saying he feels “powerful” and threatening to “kiss everyone” in the audience.
Donald Trump’s supporters gathered at Orlando Sanford International Airport, in the center of Florida, where there was no social distancing and few wore masks.
The rally was held hours after Trump’s physician Sean Conley signed a memo in which he said that Trump “has tested NEGATIVE, on consecutive days, using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card.”
It is not clear how reliable the antigen test is after seven days of symptoms, and the Centers for Disease Control states that it “does not recommend using antigen tests to make decisions about discontinuing isolation,” according to reports.
“Now they say I’m immune,” Trump proclaimed from the stage, less than 14 days after he reported he had tested positive for COVID-19, and promised his followers “a big fat kiss.”
“’I feel so powerful, I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, everyone. I’ll just give you a big fat kiss.”
A week after leaving Walter Reed military hospital, Trump added that “when you’re the president you can’t lock yourself in a basement,” adding that the restrictions and closures imposed to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus are doing “tremendous damage to these Democrat-run states.”
The Republican candidate for another four years in the White House told his supporters to “go out and vote” if they do not want a government of the “radical left” embodied in Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Trump again used slogans that penetrate his electoral base, such as putting “our people first,” while boasting of his fight against COVID-19, which in the US has claimed about 215,000 lives – the country with the highest death toll on the planet.
“We will have manufactured at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year,” he announced, then claimed that thousands of lives have been saved under his mandate.
He alluded to a solid economy and records in labor matters, while in September the unemployment rate in the US stood at 7.9 percent, a large drop after the 14.4 percent jump in April, but still above the 3.5 percent in February, before the outbreak caused by the coronavirus.
He predicted the third quarter economy would be “record-setting,” that 2021 would be the “best year,” and boasted that “no country in the world has recovered the way we have recovered.”
On Florida soil, a swing state in which polls show him narrowly behind Biden, he did not forget senior citizens, to whom he promised that “no one will touch your Medicare” or social security, or the numerous Hispanic community members that live in the state.
“These are the real polls, right?” he declared to the cheers of his audience during a rally he described as his “official return to the campaign trail.”
The president alluded to other policies that are popular with his electoral base, such as the fight against illegal immigration, highlighting “400 miles” of wall built on the southern border, as well as the deportation of “20,000 gang members, including MS-13.”
On the same day that Amy Coney Barrett, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, had her first Senate hearing, Trump highlighted that during her tenure, three conservative judges have been nominated for the highest court, “and it’s driving them (Democrats) crazy.”
Trump seeks to regain ground in the polls, which currently give former vice president Joe Biden an advantage, and has other campaign events planned in the states of Pennsylvania and Iowa.
Biden, who said Monday that Trump’s rally in Florida was “bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric, and fear-mongering,” will be in this disputed state Tuesday, and will have campaign rallies in Pembroke Pines and Miramar, both in southern Broward County, neighboring Miami-Dade. EFE-EPA