US ELECTIONS: Biden Says Florida Seniors 'Expendable' For Trump
Joe Biden said the only senior Donald Trump seemed to care about was himself
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has criticized Donald Trump's handling of Covid-19 while courting elderly voters in the key battleground state of Florida.
He told them that the president saw seniors, who have been more at risk in the pandemic, as "expendable".
There are sharp policy differences between the two candidates on Covid-19.
In Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump told thousands of supporters he felt like "Superman" after his Covid treatment.
The president tested positive for the virus on 1 October, spent three nights in the hospital, and was cleared by doctors to return to the campaign trail at the weekend, holding his first rally in Florida on Monday.
After he pulled out of a presidential debate scheduled for this Thursday, Mr. Trump now plans to hold a town hall event in Miami on Thursday night. The event will directly compete with Mr. Biden's town hall in Philadelphia, which is scheduled for the same time and was announced last week.
Are older Trump voters sticking with him?
Who is ahead - Trump or Biden?
Battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania are crucial for gathering the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidential election, which is not determined by a simple count of votes nationwide.
Opinion polls suggest Mr. Biden has a 10-point advantage over Mr. Trump nationally, but his lead in some key states is narrower. In Florida, the Democrat is 3.7 percentage points ahead, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.
Mr. Trump narrowly won Florida in 2016 as a result buoyed by senior voters. But the latest polls suggest a shift away from the Republican among them this time around.
Glenn and Matt are Trump's age but have very different stories of Covid recovery to the president's
What did Biden say in Florida?
The Democratic candidate spoke to a group of people at a community center for seniors in southern Florida, with social distancing measures in place.
The event was in stark contrast to the president's mass rally on Monday in Florida.
Mr. Biden accused the president of dismissing the threat that coronavirus posed to senior citizens.
"You're expendable, you're forgettable, you're virtually nobody. That's how he sees seniors. That's how he sees you," said Mr. Biden.
The "only senior Donald Trump seems to care about" is himself, he added.
Mr. Biden also criticized the president for holding "super-spreader parties with Republicans hugging each other without concern of the consequences", while senior citizens couldn't see their grandchildren. A recent White House event for the Supreme Court nominee lied to several attendees testing positive for Covid.
The Biden event had social-distancing measures, in contrast to the Trump rally
Introducing the Democratic candidate at the Florida event, congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it was voters aged 65 or over who would "swing elections in the Sunshine State".
Joe Biden, 77, and Donald Trump, 74, are the two oldest candidates to contest a US presidential election.
Fact-checking Trump and Biden on the campaign trail
But Mr. Trump has regularly mocked Mr. Biden as a senior citizen who lacks energy and is "sleepy". The president on Tuesday tweeted a doctored image of Mr. Biden as a wheelchair-user and the words "Biden for Resident", implying a nursing home.
Opponents took to social media to say the tweet was disrespecting the elderly.
Why is Florida so important?
Despite trailing nationally, close races in crucial states like Florida mean Mr. Trump may win re-election.
Under the electoral college system, a candidate can win the most votes nationally but still lose, as happened to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Source: BBC News