“All he talks about is Covid, Covid, Covid. Because they want to scare people,” Mr. Trump said. And on a day when the number of new cases of the coronavirus in the country hit a record, he declared, “We’ve done so well with it.”
Mr. Trump also returned to some of his favorite grievances, mocking the media and complaining that he is not treated fairly. He made a point of saying President Barack Obama’s full name, accentuating his middle name, “Hussein,” and crediting the conservative radio host and provocateur Rush Limbaugh with doing it first.
During an Oval Office event earlier in the day announcing a peace deal between Israel and Sudan, with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on the phone, the president asked Mr. Netanyahu if he thought “Sleepy Joe” could have accomplished such a deal. Mr. Netanyahu paused before saying his country welcomes help from any American, moving cautiously so as not to risk insulting Mr. Biden.
The campaign events came one day after the two men met on the debate stage for the second and final time in a clash that was on the whole more restrained than their chaotic debate three weeks ago.
Aiming to build momentum, both candidates have campaign stops scheduled for the weekend in key battleground states, with Mr. Biden heading to two counties in Pennsylvania on Saturday, and Mr. Trump holding a flurry of rallies in North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire over the weekend.
At his own event, Mr. Biden lobbed familiar barbs at Mr. Trump regarding the coronavirus, but also articulated the values underpinning the central argument of his campaign. In a particularly pointed moment, he vowed not to “let four years of Donald Trump rob us of the most fundamental American qualities: our hope in the future and our faith in ourselves.”
And in a clear departure from Mr. Trump, who reiterated at both of his rallies that the country was “rounding the corner” on the pandemic, Mr. Biden laid out the immediate steps he would take to rein in the coronavirus if elected.