Joe Biden and Donald Trump are appealing to voters by offering very different positions over whether to carry out lockdowns in response to COVID-19.
Both Trump and Biden have been working round the clock on the campaign trail, including an all-out political war to sway voters in one of the key swing states, Florida.
More than 81 million people have already voted, 52 million of them by mail, setting the US on course for its highest electoral turnout rate in more than a century. Trump argued that the US economy would collapse as a result of Biden’s intent to shut down the economy – the strategy that has been adopted by the other parts of the developed world, including Spain, France and Germany.
“Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing [coronavirus] lockdowns. He’s going to lock you down,” Trump said at his rally attended by thousands of people, few of whom were wearing masks, as reported by BBC.
Speaking about his European allies, Trump claimed that they were not handling the pandemic well, despite the fact that the US has almost as many COVID-19 cases and deaths as every country in Europe combined – almost triple the deaths per capita recorded in Germany.
“Look, we were compared to Europe,” noted the president. “‘Germany is doing so well, France is doing so well, everyone’s doing so well. No, they’re not doing well.
“I disagree with that because we’re never going to lock down again. We locked down, we understood the disease and now we’re open for business.”Joe Biden, on the other hand, said that he will be imposing lockdowns, mandating masks and taking other preventative measures to protect the American people, calling it his “patriotic duty”.
“I do miss the opportunity to just wander in and shake hands with all of you, but we decided a while ago that we were going to try to be responsible,” he said. “Donald Trump has given up. This is not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty, for God’s sake!”
The messaging from Trump and Biden make clear that COVID-19 and lockdowns will be the central policy issue in the upcoming general elections, set to take place on Tuesday.
Biden went on to say that the only way Trump can appeal to voters is through racist sentiments.
“[He is] a person who knows the only way he can win is if he divides us on race, nationality, national origin, gender”.
He added: “Look, everybody knows who Donald Trump is. We got to show him who we are.”