Wisconsin Public Radio

Trump “Rounds the Turn’ in Waukesha

As state suffers deadliest week yet, President downplays pandemic at campaign rally.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Oct 25th, 2020 01:27 pm
Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

Donald Trump. Image from campaign website.

Thousands of people gathered in 35-degree weather at a Trump campaign rally in Waukesha Saturday evening, where the president encouraged the crowd to vote.

“If we win Wisconsin, we win,” he said. “We win Wisconsin, it’s over.”

The president’s rally at Stein’s Aircraft Services at the Waukesha County Airport was his second visit to Wisconsin within the last eight days, with another rally planned for Tuesday in West Salem.

It comes on the same day that Wisconsin’s week-long average of new daily COVID-19 cases hit an all-time high of 4,050. In the past week, nearly 200 Wisconsinites have died from the illness.

Trump repeatedly said the pandemic is “rounding the turn,” and blamed high numbers across the country on a high level of testing. But in Wisconsin, the positivity rate of all tests has also hit record levels.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the rally was initially planned to take place at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, but the Trump campaign was denied access to that facility because of the city’s 250-person limit on gatherings.

In the final days of the election, Trump is making a push to win Wisconsin, which is regarded as a key swing state.

“By the way, you have to get out and vote,” he said. “If I don’t win this state, I’m going to come back and I’m going to be very angry at you.”

Trump said he voted “straight Republican” when cast his own ballot early in Florida on Saturday morning. He changed his residency from New York to Florida last year.

In the middle of his speech, Trump played anti-Biden videos on a jumbotron. The speech promised economic prosperity and law-and-order policies.

Representative Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau spoke to the crowd before the president arrived.

Photo courtesy of Rural America 2020.

Photo courtesy of Rural America 2020.

Trump’s decision to hold an in-person rally was criticized by Rural America 2020, an agricultural advocacy group that placed a billboard nearby that reads “TRUMP COVID SUPERSPREADER EVENT,” with an arrow pointing toward the airport.

Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement ahead of Trump’s visit condemning his handling of the virus.

“Just this week, 47 Wisconsinites lost their lives in a single day, and the sad truth is that it didn’t have to be this bad,” it said. Biden has visited Wisconsin several times on the campaign trail, but hasn’t held any large-scale rallies.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a democrat, condemned Trump’s rallies on a call with reporters.

“It’s another example of the president putting his political interests and what he thinks is in his political interests ahead of the health of Wisconsinites,” he said.

Polls show Trump trailing in Wisconsin, which is regarded as a key swing state in the presidential race.

Trump Says Pandemic Is ‘Rounding The Turn’ As Wisconsin Sees Deadliest Week Yet was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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