Donald Trump held his first tele-rally with Wisconsin supporters Friday as he bowed to pressure to shift his campaign trail virtually because of the ‘Covid problem’.
The president launched into a 22-minute ramble Friday night where he took a fresh aim at China over the coronavirus pandemic, blasted the ‘radical left’ for ‘indoctrinating our children with hate’ and warned that America will ‘never recover’ if he isn’t voted in for a second term.
The telephone rally marked a major backpedaling for the president who last month plowed ahead with his controversial rally in Tulsa, despite pleas from health experts and local officials to call it off.
The decision to go ahead was costly, with a top local health official admitting the rally ‘more than likely’ triggered a surge in new cases of the deadly virus across Oklahoma.
Donald Trump held his first tele-rally (pictured) with Wisconsin supporters Friday as he bowed to pressure to shift his campaign trail virtually because of the ‘Covid problem’
Trump told supporters he will be holding telephone rallies until the ‘COVID-19 problem’ ‘gets solved’.
The president used the opportunity to hit out at China over its handling of the outbreak, referring to his popular name for COVID-19 as the ‘China virus’ and blasting the country saying they ‘could have stopped it’.
‘Hello, Wisconsin. I’m really thrilled to be with you tonight,’ Trump began in the tele-rally which played a reel of photos of the president on the phone while he spoke.
‘We have a COVID problem, COVID-19 problem, as you know. I call it the China virus, it shouldn’t have happened but it did. They could have stopped it.
‘But I wanted to be with you and this is really replacing our rallies that we all love so much.’
He added: ‘We had great rallies in Wisconsin and all over the country and unfortunately, until this gets solved, and we’re doing really well with the therapeutics and vaccines, but until that gets solved it’s going to be tough to have those big massive rallies.’
The president launched into a 22-minute ramble Friday night where he took a fresh aim at China over the coronavirus pandemic, blasted the ‘radical left’ for ‘indoctrinating our children with hate’ and warned that America will ‘never recover’ if he isn’t voted in for a second term
Trump said the plan form now on is to hold ‘telephonic rallies’ which he said ‘we’ll call them the teleph – the Trump rallies, but we’ll do it by telephone.’
He then launched into a self-congratulatory speech where he reeled off what he said were a number of successes the US has seen since he won the presidential race in 2016.
Trump praised his handling of the pandemic, claiming he ‘did the right thing’ and had ‘saved millions of lives’.
‘Our testing programme is the best in the world,’ he boasted, saying more than 50 million Americans have been tested so far.
He also claimed the US is ‘close to hitting the jackpot on therapeutics and vaccines’.
This comes as Trump has repeatedly come under fire for his handling of the crisis, in particular his early denial of its seriousness.
Back in February as cases ramped up across the nation he maintained the risk to American life was ‘very low’.
Fast forward five months and more than 139,000 Americans have been killed by the virus.
Trump went on to heap praise on his economic success, saying the US has the ‘greatest economy in the history of the world’ and that the stock market is at an ‘all-time high’.
‘Our economy is starting to do really well,’ he said.
‘We had the two biggest job numbers in history the last two months, we’ve created more jobs. The stock market is at an all-time high.’
He continued: ‘We built the greatest economy we’ve ever had, the highest stock market, best job numbers for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic Americans… women… everybody’s doing so well.’
‘We built the greatest economy in the history of the world not just within our borders,’ he added.
Unemployment data casts doubts on Trump’s assertions.
More than 50 million people have been thrown out of work during the coronavirus pandemic.
While the figures have steadily been dropping for 14 weeks, the latest Labor Department data released Thursday remains at an historically high level.
The figure has now topped 1 million for 17 straight weeks. Before the pandemic, the record high for weekly unemployment applications was nearly 700,000.
Trump also used the telephone rally to hit out at his Democratic rivals, particularly ‘sleepy Joe Biden’, and warned that they are ‘indoctrinating our children with hate’.
‘It’s a choice between our real movement with what we’ve done with American patriots and we’ve done with this country and what you see going on on the other side is just not acceptable,’ he said.
The latest Labor Department data released Thursday show unemployment remains at an historically high level. The figure has now topped 1 million for 17 straight weeks
‘The radical left – if you think of it as this left-wing mob and they want to defund the police, they want to raise your taxes, they want to tear down our history, they want to get rid of our great history and they want to demolish – and that will happen – they will demolish the economy.’
He hit out at some of Biden’s policies, particularly honing in on immigration.
‘So if people come into the country illegally they get free community college,’ he mocked. ‘Our own people don’t get this.’
He added that the border wall between the US and Mexico will be finished by the end of 2020 or soon after and said he plans to ‘go after the European Union’ because ‘they have treated us very badly for years’ in terms of trade deals.
Trump concluded the call with a dramatic warning that it will be a ‘disaster’ that America will ‘never recover from’ if Democrats win in November.
The virtual rally comes almost a month after the June 20 Tulsa rally (pictured) which likely contributed to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases there
Dr. Bruce Dart, health director for the city and county, said you can ‘connect the dots’ from a surge in cases to Trump’s rally at the BOK Center
The virtual rally comes almost a month after the June 20 Tulsa rally which likely contributed to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases there.
Dr. Bruce Dart, health director for the city and county, said you can ‘connect the dots’ from a surge in cases to Trump’s rally at the BOK Center.
Trump came under sharp criticism for holding the campaign event, his first in nearly three months, at a nearly 20,000-seat indoor arena during the pandemic.
Attendees were told wearing masks and social distancing was optional by his administration.
The campaign had predicted the rally would draw a record turnout.
Instead, about 6,200 people gathered inside the 19,000-seat BOK Center arena – far fewer than was expected.