President Trump played down the coronavirus and stressed the need to open up the country at a Students for Trump rally in Arizona on Tuesday, where new infections are currently surging.
“It’s going away,” Trump said of the virus, which he referred to as “the plague.”
Trump stressed the need to reopen the country and end lockdown measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, which is still on the rise in 26 states, including a considerable surge in Arizona.
“People get sick from the other. Not just the virus. People get sick from all of the other things that happen. You know what I mean,” Trump said, declaring, “we gotta open up!”
Ticking off nicknames for the virus, Trump referred to it as “Wuhan virus,” “Chinese flu” and “kung flu” to raucous applause, the latter of which has been criticized as racist, including by White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway who referred to it as “very offensive” in March.
Trump also called “COVID-19,” the technical name for the disease, “an odd name,” and said that “some people can’t explain what the 19” means.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) tore into Trump for saying Kung Flu. “120. Thousand. Americans. Dead. Children will grow up without a parent. Grandparents will never see grandchildren grow up,” tweeted Duckworth, an Asian-American who previously hit Trump for using the phrase at his rally in Tulsa on Saturday. “To Trump, it’s all one big racist joke. And with each rally he holds, he’s making the #TrumpPandemic worse.”
10 years. Trump restated his desire to arrest protesters who vandalize or destroy statues and imprison them for 10 years, after tweeting Tuesday morning that he would sign an executive order to do just that. “We’ll stop it,” he promised to cheers. “Ten years is a long time to spend in prison.”
What To Watch For
That Trump has visited Arizona three times in the last four months, including twice during the pandemic, highlights the tough electoral math he’s facing in the November election. Normally a safely Republican state, Arizona has been trending toward Democrats in recent cycles. The RealClearPolitics average puts former Vice President Joe Biden 4 points ahead in the state, which will be critical for Trump to win in order to keep the White House.