Former US President Barack Obama on Saturday accused his successor Donald Trump of having "completely screwed up" in his handling of COVID-19, during a speech in support of Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Miami, Florida.
Eight months after the start of this pandemic, new cases are still breaking records, he said.
This pandemic would have been difficult for any president to manage, but the idea that this White House did anything other than screw up is absurd, he added, 10 days before the November 3 presidential election.
In front of Floridians who came by car for this gathering in drive-in, which punctuated his speech with honking, the first black president of the United States criticized the Republican billionaire for still not having a plan to fight the coronavirus.
Donald Trump is not suddenly going to protect us. He is not even able to take the most basic precautions to protect himself., he quipped, three weeks after the hospitalization of the president-candidate who had contracted COVID-19.
Trump advance polls
The outgoing US president went to a polling station on Saturday morning to vote early in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Donald Trump therefore joins the nearly 55 million Americans who have already voted for the poll.
I voted for a guy called Trump, he told reporters, adding:
It was a very safe vote, much safer than when you send your ballot in the mail. I can tell you. Everything was perfect, very strict, within the rules. When you send out your ballot, it cannot be secured in this way.
The American president had already, on numerous occasions, expressed doubts about the security surrounding the postal vote, without ever being able to put forward concrete evidence in this direction.
He has also previously claimed that the outcome of the November 3 presidential election may never be determined with precision.
Early voting is breaking records this year, with many voters preferring to slip their ballot early into the ballot box to avoid crowds on election day, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is already more than the number of early votes recorded in total in 2016 (more than 47 million).
That number is expected to rise further as advance polls opened in New York State on Saturday. Even before the polling stations opened, hundreds of people were waiting in line.
Florida is a key state, where everything could change on the evening of November 3. The state, which has 29 leading voters, was won by Trump in 2016 by 1.2 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton. But recent polls suggest Florida could come back into Democratic hands: Joe Biden is 3.9 percentage points ahead of his opponent.
In this final stretch, the management of the pandemic is likely to be one of the key topics. The United States is experiencing a record increase of more than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 and now has 8.5 million registered cases.
Joe Biden aptly presented his plan to fight COVID-19 on Friday.
I will immediately put in place a national strategy. I will position the country to finally defeat the virus and regain our lives. I will reach out to governors, mayors and other officials in all states, whether red or blue, to understand their needs. A pandemic has no favorites and neither do I. Like I said, no red or blue state, but the United States, he said.
A weekend blitz
The two candidates are redoubling their efforts to try to convince the undecided. Donald Trump travels to North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin on Saturday, before going to New Hampshire on Sunday. Joe Biden is going to Pennsylvania.
Despite the polls, which still give Joe Biden an average eight point lead nationally, Donald Trump is still as optimistic.
We are not late, we are early. We are ahead of where we were four years ago and the wave will be even bigger than four years ago, there is even more enthusiasm now, he assured Friday evening.
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