WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential race (all times local):
President Donald Trump has returned to the campaign trail, holding his first rally since he contracted the coronavirus.
Trump took the stage Monday in Sanford, Florida, and declared he was in good health, saying he felt “powerful” and he felt well enough — and contagion-free enough — to dive into the crowd “to kiss the guys and the beautiful women.”
The president was sidelined from the campaign trail for more than ten days after he tested positive for the virus on October 2. Questions about his health persist, but his doctor said Monday that the president had tested negative twice for the virus and was cleared to travel.
The rally in Florida, a must-win state for Trump, kicks off an aggressive week of travel for the president, which also includes stops in Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail after an 11-day absence while he recovered from the coronavirus. He held a rally in Florida. Democrat Joe Biden, meanwhile, campaigned in Ohio on Monday.
— Trump’s task: Resetting campaign that GOP fears is slipping
— 2020 Watch: Is it too late for Trump to turn things around?
— Vision 2020: How soon will we know the US election outcome?
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 14 new confirmed coronavirus cases among people who attended recent presidential campaign rallies and other political events in Minnesota.
Kris Ehresmann, the department’s infectious disease director, on Monday told reporters the number of confirmed cases linked with President Donald Trump’s outdoor rally in Bemidji on Sept. 18 had risen to 16, up from nine as of Friday, including four people who attended a protest against the rally.
Three cases have been reported among people who attended Trump’s outdoor rally in Duluth on Sept. 30. Three people tested positive after attending a rally Sept. 24 with Vice President Mike Pence in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hotel ballroom, including one who was also among the Duluth rally cases.
Two individual cases have been reported among people who attended Joe Biden campaign events in Duluth on Sept. 16 and Brooklyn Park on Sept. 22.
President Donald Trump’s White House doctor says Trump has tested negative for COVID-19 “on consecutive days” using a newer rapid test from Abbott Laboratories.
The assessment from Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley comes as Trump is traveling to Sanford, Florida, to headline his first campaign rally since becoming infected with the coronavirus. Conley had said in a written memo released over the weekend that Trump was no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others.
Conley says in a fresh update released Monday that Trump tested negative for COVID-19 on consecutive days using a newer 15-minute test. He did not say when Trump was tested.
Trump announced Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that night and released on Oct. 5.
His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, also announced Monday that he had tested negative for the coronavirus. It’s the latest in a series of negative tests for Biden since he was on stage Sept. 29 for a debate against Trump, who later tested positive for the virus.
Joe Biden is blasting President Donald Trump and Republicans for fast-tracking a Supreme Court nomination while negotiations plod along on a new coronavirus economic relief package.
The Democratic presidential nominee said at a drive-in rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday that Trump “turned his back on you” during the pandemic and its economic fallout.
Biden is campaigning in Ohio as the Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Republicans want to confirm Barrett before Election Day, on Nov. 3.
Biden questioned why Republicans have time for Supreme Court hearings but not time to come to an agreement with House Democrats on another economic relief package to help individuals, businesses and city and state governments.
Trump has alternately called off COVID-19 relief talks, then pushed for a deal. Late last week, the White House boosted its offer to Democrats, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was unlikely Congress could pass a bill before the election and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House offer didn’t include enough money.
Joe Biden is in Toledo, Ohio, but his traveling press pool is not.
The Democratic presidential nominee travels with two planes, a departure from most recent major party nominees. The campaign attributes the setup to COVID-19 protocols. One of the Biden campaign planes is for the candidate, his staff and Secret Service detail. The other is for the reporters, photographers and videographers who cover his campaign, along with one senior Biden aide and a Secret Service agent.
But on Monday morning, the press plane had a malfunction and remained grounded in Wilmington, Delaware. Because Biden’s plane always takes off first, the candidate was on his way to Ohio.
There still will be some media in attendance in Toledo.
The Biden campaign has said the press pool should be reunited with Biden for a second Ohio event in Cincinnati later Monday.
President Donald Trump’s traveling press corps now flies with him on Air Force One. But when he was a candidate in 2016, Trump also relegated the press to its own plane, while he traveled on the Trump Organization’s Boeing 757 dubbed “Trump Force One.”