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President Donald Trump hit the campaign trail once more on Monday with an event in Sanford, Fla., and appeared to be back in form as he danced to “YMCA” before a packed venue at his first rally since contracting COVID-19.
In video clips going viral online, the president is seen smiling and dancing to a song that has become a staple at his campaign rallies as he waved to the raucous crowd.
— Ryann McEnany (@RyannMcEnany) October 13, 2020
“In his first rally after contracting COVID-19, Trump spoke for 65 minutes. That’s similar to what he was doing before falling ill. (And he did his little dance to YMCA too). Another rally tomorrow,” Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press’ White House reporter, tweeted.
In his first rally after contracting COVID-19, Trump spoke for 65 minutes. That's similar to what he was doing before falling ill.
(And he did his little dance to YMCA too)
Another rally tomorrow.
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) October 13, 2020
The president spoke to thousands of supporters at Orlando Sanford International Airport where, according to WESH, rally-goers began showing up for the event 24 hours in advance.
“It’s great to be back in my home state, Florida, to make my official return to the campaign trail,” Trump said after departing Air Force One and walking directly on stage.
“I feel so powerful,” the president said at one point, as he did not appear to have any lingering effects from the virus. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women … everybody. I’ll just give ya a big fat kiss.”
Initially, the president was scheduled to hold a rally at the airport Oct. 2, but it was canceled after he contracted the novel coronavirus. White House medical personnel cleared the president to travel again over the weekend after testing negative for several consecutive days.
Prior to Trump’s appearance onstage, Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, appeared and urged supporters to make sure they voted for the president.
Trump’s return to the campaign trail features a busy schedule, with additional events planned this week in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Iowa, and North Carolina.
National polls have Trump trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by double digits, which seems unlikely given the continued high turnout for the president’s rallies versus those featuring Biden.
Biden spoke to a parking lot today and forgot what office he was running for
— Gulag Inmate 4859 (@JackPosobiec) October 13, 2020
“President Trump comes to Sanford today bringing nothing but reckless behavior, divisive rhetoric, and fear-mongering,” Biden said in a statement regarding the president’s rally.
“But, equally dangerous is what he fails to bring: no plan to get this virus that has taken the lives of over 15,000 Floridians under control, no plan to protect Floridians’ health care amid his attacks against the ACA, and certainly no plan to mitigate the economic impact the pandemic is having on families across Central Florida,” he added. “Donald Trump won’t speak to the pain being felt by working families. The best he has mustered is, ‘it is what it is.’ Well, it is what it is because he is who he is.”
The Trump campaign dismissed Biden’s criticism and said the president will continue taking his message directly to voters in the three weeks remaining before Election Day.
“Look, the president — even this morning in our morning conversation — was getting on my case for not having enough rallies and public events scheduled. So he’s ready to go,” Jason Miller, a senior adviser, told NPR.
Biden, meanwhile, appeared in Toledo and Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday, and will be in Florida on Tuesday.
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