WAUKESHA — Visiting one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots, President Trump insisted the pandemic is “rounding the corner” during a rally Saturday evening.
The rally comes amid a continued surge of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. The current case rate in the state has increased by 39 percent from two weeks ago, while Waukesha County has had 1,521 cases over the last week.
Trump referred to COVID-19 as “the China plague” several times throughout his speech and regaled the crowd with his recent battle against the disease, noting that his son tested positive but was largely asymptomatic.
“I’m surrounded by 12 doctors, 12, exactly 12, the best in the world,” Trump said. “I had so many doctors and each one of them studied different parts of the body, and there was a point where almost every one of them was touching me, and I didn’t like it.”
“They gave me Regeneron and I woke up the next morning and I felt like Superman,” he said.
Though Trump referred to Gov. Tony Evers as “a nice guy,” he implied that Evers’ pandemic-related executive orders were meant to influence the election.
“Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, what do they have in common? North Carolina? Democrat governors,” he said. “On Nov. 4 they’ll announce, ‘we’re open for business!’ Your state has to open.”
Evers’ mask mandate is currently in effect. But an appeals court on Friday put on hold his administration’s limits on public, in-person gatherings. Beyond that, the only restrictions in effect related to COVID-19 have been put in place by local officials.
Dems knocked Trump over COVID-19 ahead of his stop. Rural America 2020, a national non-profit, flew an aerial banner over the area warning the rally was a potential superspreader event. It also posted a billboard outside the airport rally with a similar message with Wisconsin one of the top states in the nation for COVID-19 cases.
Joe Biden issued a statement vowing “to tackle this crisis and build the economy back better for Wisconsin families and small businesses.”
“I challenge anybody to answer this simple question: what is Donald Trump’s plan to fight the pandemic?” Dem AG Josh Kaul said on a call before the rally, saying the president doesn’t have one.
Trump was in Janesville a week ago and will be in West Salem on Tuesday for what will be his eighth stop in the state this year. Four years ago, he won the state by just 22,728 votes, but he has consistently trailed in publicly available polling. A Marquette University poll from earlier this month showed 41 percent of likely voters backing Trump, while 46 percent backed Biden.
Trump hit on many of his usual talking points, including portraying Biden as a Trojan horse for the left flank of the Democratic Party.
Dems have knocked Trump’s trade policies, blaming them for Wisconsin leading the nation in farm bankruptcies. Still, the president said under the Obama-Biden administration, “Wisconsin dairy farms were decimated.”
Later on, he referenced a recent contract with Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine as evidence of how his administration has benefitted the state.
“Wisconsin will now build the next generation of American warships,” he told the rallygoers.
After recognizing Wisconsin’s attending GOP officials, including state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, Trump reminded the crowd of Wisconsin’s importance to his reelection.
“If we win Wisconsin, we win,” he said. “If we win Wisconsin, it’s over. If we win, Wisconsin wins. If we win, America wins.”
Watch video of the rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVf8CUzIfp8