Virus Surge Shadows Trump and Biden Campaign Events After Final Debate

Candidates made their cases as hundreds of thousands of people jammed long lines to vote in New York, Florida and elsewhere.

By Shane Goldmacher and Thomas Kaplan

A day after the nation hit a new high for coronavirus cases, President Trump returned to the campaign trail for a series of rallies and again sought to minimize the surging pandemic, mocking his rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., for following the social distancing recommendations of public health officials.

In the face of spiking numbers, Mr. Trump on Saturday continued to lean into the idea that the news media and his critics are obsessing about the virus, even as polls show widespread public concern. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that a slim majority of voters (including half of independents) believe the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

“That’s all I hear about now. That’s all I hear, turn on television,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign event in Lumberton, N.C. “Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid,” a refrain he made in the state as well on Wednesday.

With 10 days left until the election and hundreds of thousands of voters expected to cast their ballots as long lines marked the first weekend of early in-person voting in Florida, New York, Wisconsin and other states, Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden presented sharply divergent cases, both in words and actions, for how they would handle the pandemic still gripping the country.

Campaigning in the key battleground of Pennsylvania, Mr. Biden cited the milestone in cases at a drive-in rally in the Philadelphia suburbs on Saturday and criticized Mr. Trump for asserting that the country was “rounding the corner” as cases spike.

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