After COVID-19, Trump returns to rallies

Looking to move on from his bout with COVID-19, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail in Sanford, Florida Monday, where polls show his rival, Joe Biden, with a small lead.

The rally - packed with attendees… many in red hats but few in masks - was Trump's first since he disclosed earlier this month that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

"I went through it, now they say I'm immune. I feel so powerful I'll walk into that audience - I'll walk in there and kiss everyone in that audience."

White House doctor Sean Conley on Monday said Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 and is not infectious to others.

Trump is seeking to change the dynamics of a race that national opinion polls and some state polls show he is losing to Biden..

"...If you vote for me prosperity will surge."

But Trump's own illness has put the spotlight squarely on his much-criticized coronavirus response during the election's closing stretch, with the Biden campaign scaling up its attacks and stretching its campaign into states that normally lean Republican.

Biden on Monday hit Toledo, Ohio - a state that Trump won in 2016 by 8 percentage points - telling autoworkers that he and former President Barack Obama played a key role in keeping the auto industry afloat during the financial crisis.

"I just think back to 2008 when Barack and I were elected and we inherited the worst recession short of a depression in history, president put me in charge of the Recovery Act. Eight hundred billion dollars. It was needed to save our economy from going into depression …Barack and I bet on you and the American worker and it paid off."

Monday's event marked Biden's second campaign trip to Ohio - once thought to be out of reach - but where polls now show a competitive race… No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio.

And according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday - Biden has pulled further ahead in critical swing states - Wisconsin and Pennsylvania - two states that Trump carried in the 2016 election.

Trump's stop in Florida will be followed by planned rallies in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Iowa on Wednesday and North Carolina on Thursday.

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: It's great to be with you. Thank you, it's great to be back.

- Looking to move on from his bout with COVID-19, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail in Sanford, Florida Monday, where polls show his rival, Joe Biden, with a small lead.

DONALD TRUMP: Sleepy Joe.

- The rally, packed with attendees-- many in red hats, but few with masks-- was Trump's first since he disclosed earlier this month that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

DONALD TRUMP: I went through it. Now, they say I'm immune. I can feel-- I feel so powerful, I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there, I'll kiss everyone in that audience.

- White House doctor Sean Conley on Monday said Trump has tested negative for COVID-19, and is not infectious to others. Trump is seeking to change the dynamics of a race that national opinion polls and some state polls show he is losing to Biden.

DONALD TRUMP: If you vote for me, prosperity will surge.

- But Trump's own illness has put the spotlight squarely on his much criticized coronavirus response during the election's closing stretch, with the Biden campaign scaling up its attacks--

JOE BIDEN: Trump panicked.

- --and stretching its campaign into states that normally lean Republican. Biden, on Monday, hit Toledo, Ohio, a state that Trump won in 2016 by 8 percentage points, telling autoworkers that he and former President Barack Obama played a key role in keeping the auto industry afloat during the financial crisis.

JOE BIDEN: I just think back to 2008 when Barack and I were elected and we inherited the worst recession short of a depression in history. President put me in charge of the Recovery Act. $800 billion was needed to save our economy from going into a depression. Barack and I bet on you and the American worker, and it paid off.

- Monday's event marked Biden's second campaign trip to Ohio, once thought to be out of reach, but where polls now show a competitive race. No Republican has won the White House without carrying Ohio. And according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday, Biden has pulled further ahead in critical swing states Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two states that Trump carried in the 2016 election. Trump's stop in Florida will be followed by planned rallies in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Iowa on Wednesday, and North Carolina on Thursday.

DONALD TRUMP: I'm in such great shape.