Trump Meets in Phoenix, Says Democrats Try to Keep Country “Closed”

President TrumpDonald John Trump Bowman has a double-digit lead over Engel in New York. McGrath leads Booker in Kentucky with results expected next week New York Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins MORE On Tuesday, he gathered a crowd of largely unmasked student supporters in Phoenix, alleging that Democrats were trying to keep the country “closed” during the coronavirus pandemic to damage the economy before the election.

“They are trying to do everything possible to keep the country closed and closed because they would love those numbers not to be good,” Trump told the crowd after insisting that the United States would see good economic growth during the third quarter, before the 2020 choice. “There is not much they can do about it.”

Trump referred to the coronavirus throughout his remarks, repeatedly calling it “the plague” and at one point claiming that it was “disappearing.” Trump also twice referred to the virus as the “kung flu,” a term that was widely condemned as racist when he used it at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla, over the weekend. The term roused cheers from the crowd on Tuesday.

“We will be stronger than ever, and it will be soon,” Trump said of the coronavirus, promoting his “fast and early action” to ban travel from China in early February to prevent the spread of the disease.

Approximately 3,000 young attendees are expected to attend Tuesday’s event in Arizona, a state that has experienced significant spikes in coronavirus cases as it has relaxed restrictions to allow businesses to reopen. Arizona reported nearly 3,600 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a record daily cases.

Few of those in the crowd at Dream City Church in Phoenix were seen wearing masks, which are recommended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The place was filled with a sea of ​​young Trump supporters sitting together, though some empty seats were visible in parts of the church. The event was described as a speech to young Americans, but was sponsored by “Turning Point USA,” a young conservative group led by Trump supporter Charlie Kirk.

Trump used his remarks to promote the strength of the pre-coronavirus economy and provide an optimistic picture of the road to recovery after a surprising May employment report that showed job gains.

“The stock market in the last 50 days is the best stock market in history, and it went up again today, by the way,” Trump said. “This is during, hopefully, the end of the pandemic.”

He also complained about news coverage describing that the United States has the majority of coronavirus cases worldwide.

“When you have all that evidence, you have more cases,” Trump said. “We want to do tests. We want to do everything, but they use it to make us look bad. “

Trump’s campaign-style comments came hours later Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump meets in Phoenix, claims that Democrats trying to keep the country “closed” Forget WHO: where is the American leadership in the WTO? Fauci Gives Congress COVID-19 Warning MORE, the Trump administration’s top infectious disease expert, told a House of Representatives panel that the rise in coronavirus cases in the United States marked a “disturbing” trend.

“In some ways, we have done very well,” Fauci said, pointing to New York’s work to contain the virus. “However, in other areas of the country, we are now seeing a disturbing increase in infections that seems to be a combination, but one thing is an increase in the spread of the community. And that’s something that really worries me a lot. ”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield said the outbreak will continue and overlap with the flu season in the fall, which “could place a tremendous burden on the healthcare system “

White House officials have tried to minimize concerns about the spikes in the past week. Trump has stood up to scrutiny for his comments on the evidence in recent days, calling the evidence a “double-edged sword” and suggesting that expanded evidence makes the United States look bad. At his rally in Tulsa over the weekend, Trump said he told officials to “stop the evidence.”

The White House has offered changing explanations for the comments, and some officials said the comments were joking. Trump told reporters early Tuesday that he is not “misleading” about the evidence. Fauci and other health officials during their testimony said they had not been instructed to delay testing and underscored efforts to continue expanding the testing capacity.

Trump’s speech marked his second campaign speech in four days after his rally in Tulsa, the first in more than three months due to the pandemic. The campaign withstood scrutiny over the decision to organize the Tulsa rally, which has also seen an increase in coronavirus cases.