For his third rally on Saturday, President Trump arrived in Waukesha, Wis., saying he felt better after he was hospitalized for Covid-19 than he did before. His only acknowledgment of the spiking rates of the virus in Wisconsin, where there were 4,660 new cases and 28 deaths on Saturday, was to claim that the United States included in its death counts people suffering from other ailments, like heart conditions.
“If we did half the testing, we would have half the cases,” he told the crowd. “If they cut that in half, we would have another half cut.”
Later, Mr. Trump said “we are rounding the turn,” and called it “terrible” that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned of a dark winter during Thursday’s debate. In Wisconsin, over the past week, there have been an average of 4,212 cases per day, an increase of 66 percent from the average two weeks earlier. The country as a whole set a record for new coronavirus infections on Friday.
“We have to get out,” Mr. Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters. “Our economy will be greater than ever before.”
Mr. Trump said that he “got a lot of credit” for his toned-down performance at the last debate. But he admitted he preferred his combative, interrupting performance during the first debate, which his internal campaign polls showed had cost him support.
“You know who liked my performance the first time better? The Hispanics,” he added.
Mr. Trump continued to play down the positive cases reported in the United States, arguing that someone can be “close to death” of another ailment, like a heart condition, “and they get Covid, they put it down to Covid.”