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Trump And Biden Make 11th Hour Election Appeals Across Key States

President Trump addresses supporters Sunday at a campaign rally in Macomb County, Mich.
John Moore
Getty Images
President Trump addresses supporters Sunday at a campaign rally in Macomb County, Mich.

Updated 4:43 p.m. ET

President Trump makes five stops in five different swing states Sunday, while his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, focuses on Pennsylvania just days before Election Day.

Trump's jam-packed schedule highlights the uphill battle he faces for reelection and the categorically dissimilar style of campaigning he has taken in contrast to Biden.

Trump began his Sunday speaking to supporters in Macomb County, Mich. — a state he captured by just about 10,000 votes in 2016, but where Biden currently leads in polls — to make a last-ditch appeal to voters as to why he deserves to be reelected.

In his characteristically boastful tone, Trump defended his administration's handling of the coronavirus and touted the nation's economic success prior to the pandemic.

"This election is a choice between the Biden depression," Trump said, "or you can have the greatest economic boom in the history of our country."

"The Biden plan is to imprison you in your home," Trump added. His administration has pushed to get people back to work and kids to school with few restrictions, even as the coronavirus has continued to savage the country.

With 230,000 Americans now dead from the coronavirus, Trump has repeatedly denied responsibility for the virus' toll, and he continues to hold large, close-contact campaign events in outdoor spaces.

"Look at what China has done to the world. And we're not forgetting it," Trump said Sunday in Michigan, in reference to the coronavirus, which first appeared in China.

Researchers at Stanford University have found that Trump's rallies this summer were likely responsible for some 30,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Researchers say that these events likely resulted in more than 700 deaths.

Biden has made underscoring the human cost of the pandemic his key pitch to voters while spotlighting what he calls an irresponsible and anti-science handling of the virus by Trump and his administration.

"It's almost criminal the way he has handled [the pandemic]," Biden said during one of two campaign events held in Philadelphia on Sunday.

"On day one of my presidency," he said, "I'm going to put in action a plan I've been talking about for months — masking, social distancing, testing, tracing, a plan for full and fair and free distribution of therapeutics and vaccines, when we get one."

Biden has blamed Trump for holding "super-spreader" rallies and has opted to hold fewer, smaller campaign events himself — often with supporters remaining in or around their cars for a drive-in event — in order to follow public health guidelines.

At a "Souls to the Polls" event, an effort among Black churches to mobilize voters, Biden emphasized his plan to combat racial injustice and noted health disparities in the Black community with COVID-19.

"Every single day we're seeing race-based disparities in every aspect of this virus: higher infection rates, lower access to testing, a harder time quarantining safely, lower access to quality treatment when you become infected and tragically, higher mortality rates," he said.

Biden will travel to Cleveland on Monday before returning to Pennsylvania to barnstorm the state. Trump himself held four rallies in Pennsylvania on Saturday. It's another swing state that Trump carried in 2016 but where the president now trails in surveys.

With the election just days away, Biden has also enlisted the help of Democratic favorite Barack Obama, the former president. He appeared with Biden in Michigan on Saturday, and travels to Georgia and Florida on Monday.

Trump has planned five rallies in four key states on Monday, ending in Michigan.

One Biden campaign event in Texas had to be cancelled over the weekend, after a caravan of Trump supporters swarmed a Biden campaign bus and forced it to stop. Trump seemed to praise his supporters' actions in a tweet, proclaiming "I LOVE TEXAS!" alongside what appeared to be a video of the incident.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.