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Trump announces surprise campaign rallies in multiple states despite rising US coronavirus cases

Three of first four rally host states have recorded largest seven-day Covid-19 infection rate in June

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Wednesday 10 June 2020 22:19 BST
Fox News' Tucker Carlson responds to Sesame Street take on BLM: 'America is a bad place. And it's your fault.'.mp4

Donald Trump, despite rising coronavirus cases and hospitalisations in some states, says he will soon hold campaign rallies in Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

The president will return to the campaign trail with a large deficit to make up nationally against Joe Biden, the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. But he will do so in three states – Oklahoma is the lone exception – where, since the start of June, each has recorded its highest three-day average of infections since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

A rally next week in Tulsa will mark his official return to the campaign trail, he told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Trump’s top spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, told reporters earlier on Wednesday that the Trump team would do all it could to keep rally-goers as safe as possible. She did not explain how they would try doing so.

Health experts continue to warn against large gatherings due to the highly infectious disease that has killed at least 112,000 people in America while infecting at least 1.9 million.

“They’re all going to be big,” the president said.

Amid a rift with North Carolina governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, over the 2020 Republican National Convention, Mr Trump called him “backward”. That’s because Mr Cooper has said he sees no way for such a large gathering without participants wearing masks and social distancing – Mr Trump wants neither at his convention.

The president said Texas, Georgia and Florida all are in the running should he formally decide to move the convention to another state. It is slated for Charlotte in August.

About Mr Cooper, the president said: “The governor is not giving an inch.”

Mr Trump took only one question during an unplanned media opportunity in the White House’s Cabinet Room. He has not held one of his signature gaggles with reporters since 30 May.

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