Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says Biden has been “brainwashed”: “He has been taken over by the radical left” Trump says he will wear mask during the upcoming trip to the Walter Reed Latino group “Mi Familia Vota” launches the M voter campaign targeting against swing states MORE lock in President Trump as he prepared to visit a coronavirus-afflicted Florida on Friday, blaming the president’s response to the pandemic for a sharp increase in cases and virus-related hospitalizations in the nation’s largest battlefield state.
“With over 232,000 cases in the state and over 4,000 deaths in Florida, it’s clear that Trump’s response – ignoring, blaming others and distracting – has come at the expense of families in Florida,” the former vice president said in a statement issued as Trump went on a scheduled trip to Doral, just outside of Miami.
Trump will be briefed by the US Southern Command in Doral on Friday before holding a roundtable discussion with members of South Florida’s Venezuelan community this afternoon.
In his statement, however, Biden said Trump’s visit to Florida would mean little more than a “photo-op and a distraction from his failures,” both in his administration’s coronavirus response and his stance on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
Trump’s trip to Florida comes as the Sunshine State emerges as a new global episode of the coronavirus pandemic. Virus-related deaths and hospitalizations hit record levels daily on Thursday, as the state adds nearly 9,000 new coronavirus cases to its compilation.
The surge in cases in Florida came after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisSources say DeSantis is limiting fundraising for the Republican National Convention due to personal dispute: report Overnight Health Care: Fauci says hard-hit states should “pause” again | Florida records record number of coronavirus deaths | Redfield says keeping schools closed poses a greater health risk to children than re-opening Florida’s record number of coronavirus deaths MORE, a constant ally of the president, moved to reopen the state following a state home-home order. Trump praised the governor’s efforts, but critics said DeSantis moved too quickly and with little regard for public health experts’ advice.
Bite criticism of Trump also comes as the election pattern shows the president’s support disappearing in the notoriously unpredictable state of swing. Three polls released last month showed that Trump released Biden in Florida, including a Fox News poll that found the former vice president with 9 points.
Trump only narrowly won the state in the 2016 presidential election, and his campaign sees a repeated victory there as crucial to his path to a second term in office. And while Election Day is still almost four months away, a loss in Florida has the potential to lower the president’s re-election prospects.