Donald Trump has mocked his presidential rival Joe Biden for ‘listening to the scientists’ on how to safely respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden has been vocal about following procedures set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggest wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing to help stop the spread of the virus.
But Trump, who has been opposed to many of the guidelines, claimed the US would be in a ‘massive depression’ if he had taken experts’ advice. So far, 8.2 million people have been infected in the States and 220,000 people have lost their lives to the virus.
Speaking at a rally in front of thousands of supporters on Sunday in Carson City, Nevada, Trump mimicked the former vice president for vowing to listen to scientific advice if he wins the election.
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‘He’ll listen to the scientists,’ Trump said in a mocking tone of voice. ‘If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression. We’re like a rocket ship.’
Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates refuted the president’s claims in a statement, saying: ‘Donald Trump tanked the strong economy he inherited from the Obama-Biden Administration by continually discounting and attacking warnings from the scientific and medical experts working around the clock to save lives.’
The president also called out out cities led by the Democrats and blamed them for a slower economic recovery amid the pandemic.
Trump said: ‘We have like five or six of these Democrats keeping their states closed because they are trying to hurt us. Get the places open, let’s go.’
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert who has consistently clashed with the president during the pandemic, said he is not surprised Trump contracted Covid-19.
He said on Sunday: ‘I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded – no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.’
Trump has continued to ignore health and safety guidelines, even after he was hospitalised with the virus. He has been touring the country, holding huge rallies with thousands of attendees congregating together and many not wearing masks.
The US has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, with infections rising to 17% over the past week.
Meanwhile, Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to 898,000 on Thursday – the highest it has been in two months – showing a job recession is still lingering amid the pandemic.
This all looms over the upcoming election, which officially begins on Tuesday November 3.
Biden is ahead in many national polls, but Trump has claimed the numbers are misleading and is confident he will win.
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