US Election Wrap, October 30: Dismissing virus fears, Trump continues to draw massive crowds at rallies
Although large events are not permitted and many public places are still closed in the United States, Trump has drawn criticism from health experts as well as his political opponents for continuing to hold mass rallies.
In three days, the US will either have Joe Biden as its new president or Donald Trump will continue to serve for four more years. The dominating talking point in this year’s elections has been the coronavirus outbreak and both presidential candidates have clashed over the issue several times over the past few months.
Now, in the battleground state of Florida, the virus outbreak and Trump’s handling of the pandemic has again become a point of contention between the two candidates and the topic of discussion in their campaign rallies. Reuters reported that Trump “downplayed the pandemic, as he has done throughout the year, telling people that if they contracted the virus, they would “get better,” just as he did after his own diagnosis.”
Biden on the other hand, criticised Trump for holding these big rallies, saying that it makes people more susceptible to exposure to the virus.
Although large events are not permitted and many public places are still closed in the United States, Trump has drawn criticism from health experts as well as his political opponents for continuing to hold mass rallies. That isn’t all. At these gatherings of Trump supporters, many have turned up without face masks, potentially putting people at risk and exposing them to coronavirus.
Biden had earlier called these campaign rallies “super-spreader events”. “Democrat Joe Biden, in contrast, has shunned rallies and instead holds online and drive-in events where people honk their horns to show support,” the Associated Press reported.
There have been several polls over the past few weeks that show that Joe Biden has a lead over Trump in these elections. These polls indicate that even in swing states, where the race is very tight, Biden has a lead by a narrow margin. But in 2016, Hillary Clinton too had a lead over Trump in several similar polls, only for Trump to be declared president.
A Reuters report analyses whether a similar scenario will play out this year as well between Trump and Biden, in what has been one of the most contentious elections in the history of the US elections.
In this year’s election, misinformation along with election fraud have been among the pressing concerns in the United States. According to an AP report, a media intelligence firm has said Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has been targeted in these online misinformation campaigns and social media posts more than her male counterparts, including her opponent, Vice President Mike Pence.
“The narratives related to Kamala Harris zeroed in much more on her personal identity, especially as a woman of color,” the AP quoted Jennifer Granston, head of insights at Zignal Labs saying. The report suggests that Trump’s endorsement of some of these false claims have added to the misinformation campaign, especially among his supporters.
With only three days to go for November 3, the BBC has a comprehensive explainer on what to look out for on Election Day. This includes a simplified list of some key terms relevant to the US elections and their definitions. For example, “Projections v calling”, “Bellwether state” and “Electoral college” among others.
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