Trump and Biden host dueling rallies in battleground state Florida
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden hosted dueling campaign rallies in Florida on Thursday in the homestretch to Election Day and there was a stark contrast between the two as MAGA fans flouted masks and packed into stands while Biden’s supporters practiced social distancing by cheering from their cars.
Trump spoke at a raucous, crammed rally in Tampa, Florida on Thursday afternoon before a sea of hundreds of fans who shouted and cheered in close proximity, ignoring the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic nominee Biden also touched down in Florida Thursday stopping first at a drive-in rally at Broward College in Coconut Creek where more than 100 cars filled with fans cheered and practiced social distancing. He’ll host another socially distanced rally in Tampa at 6.30pm.
His crowd was considerably smaller than Trump’s, but all were masked up and kept a conscious distance from one another to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are hosting dueling campaign rallies in Florida today in the home stretch to Election Day and the contrast couldn’t be more stark as MAGA fans flout masks and social distancing in packed stands while Biden’s supporters spread out and cheer from their cars. Trump and First Lady Melania arriving at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday
Biden was seen speaking from a podium before his socially distanced attendees who wore masks and waved American flags from their cars at the drive-in rally in Coconut Creek, Florida on Thursday afternoon
Trump shouts and cheers to his Republican fans wearing red MAGA hats and shirts, notably not wearing a mask. Biden, on the other hand, arrived to the rally wearing a mask. Though his crowd was less impressive they still clapped and cheered for the former Vice President
A tale of two rallies: The stands were packed in Tampa, Florida with fans waving signs and flashing thumbs up signs to the president. Trump has ignored implementing coronavirus precautions at his rallies, despite catching the virus himself this month. By comparison, Biden’s rally was significantly smaller, hosting a fraction of the fans with supporters waving and cheering from their parked cars
Many Trump supporters choose not to wear protective face masks or practice social distancing at the Tampa MAGA rally. Meanwhile, Biden supporters arrived for the Coconut Creek rally in Florida wearing masks and were stationed in their own cars to avoid crowding around and potentially spreading COVID-19
Biden has held fewer in-person rallies and events and for months opted for virtual gatherings during the initial spike of the virus.
It’s not clear how many people attended the Trump rally but the campaign said over 15,000 tickets had been requested.
Several attendees at Trump’s rally passed out due the intense heat that reached the 90s and was heightened by crowds where people stood shoulder-to-shoulder. A firetruck was seen blasting water in the crowd to cool people off.
The stakes are high in Florida and the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront as the state has seen a massive increase in cases since the state reopened one month ago.
With its 29 electoral votes, the state is a major asset in next Tuesday’s election.
For Trump, winning Florida is crucial to winning the electoral college. Trump beat Clinton by a narrow margin of 1.2 percentage points in 2016.
For Trump, winning Florida is crucial to winning the electoral college. Trump beat Clinton by 1.2 percentage points in 2016
According to recent CNN polls, Biden leads in the polls at 49 percent with Trump trailing behind at 45 percent
The MAGA rally in Tampa was held in the packed Raymond James Stadium where there were no rules enforcing masks or social distancing. The crowd was easily triple the number of attendees Biden had, but Trump has brushed aside coronavirus guidelines in hosting his events, while Biden has designed his to maintain social distance. Biden’s event was hosted in the parking lot at Broward College in Coconut Creek, Florida above where cars were spaced out and everyone was urged to social distance and wear masks
Front row seats: Trump’s rally saw fans packed together in close proximity while Biden’s crowd was dispersed with fans sitting on top of their vehicles
What social distancing? It’s not clear how many people attended the Trump rally but the campaign said over 15,000 tickets had been requested. Guests were seen shoulder-to-shoulder, while at Biden’s rally everyone was forced to maintain a clear distance of one another. Speaking on the virus Biden said: ‘I am not going to shut down the economy. I am not going to shut down the country. But I am going to shut down the virus’
More than 7million Floridians have already voted early either in person or by mail, quickly approaching the 9.6million votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
According to recent CNN polls, Biden leads in the polls at 49 percent with Trump trailing behind at 45 percent.
In Trump’s speech he once again accused his Democratic opponent of trying to shut down the country as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in dozens of states, including Florida.
‘Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing lockdowns, he’s going to lock you down,’ Trump said.
Trump promised his fans that America would come back from the coronavirus crisis, which has already killed more tha 228,000 people.
Trump and First Lady Melania put on a united front both speaking at the Thursday campaign stop in Tampa
Trump and Melania shared a smile on stage before he shared his speech before a packed crowd
Multiple attendees at the MAGA rally passed out due to the intense heat that reached the 90s and a firetruck was on site spraying water to cool fans off
Trump fans came out in full force in Tampa. This supporter painted his car to say ‘Patriots 4 Trump’ (left) and held a slew of MAGA flags. At Biden’s rally fans decked out their cars with ‘Florida for Biden’ posters and flags (right)
Biden arrived to the rally with his granddaughter Natalie Biden on Thursday
‘You know the bottom line, though? You’re gonna get better,’ he said.
At the rally Trump once again accused Biden and his family of being criminals, leading his fans to chant ‘four more years’ and ‘lock him up’.
Florida has the third most cases of COVID-19 in the country reporting 4,198 additional infections Thursday bringing the state’s total to 794,624.
Thursday also saw 77 new virus-related deaths bringing the resident death toll to 16,648.
In Biden’s speech he denigrated Trump’s handling of the virus saying: ‘Donald Trump has waved the white flag, abandoned our families, and surrendered to this virus.’
He pledged to listen to science and medical experts in addressing the virus, stressing he’s not going to shut down the country as Trump claims.
‘I am not going to shut down the economy. I am not going to shut down the country. But I am going to shut down the virus,’ he said.