Former vice president Joe Biden will hold a virtual fundraiser Sunday afternoon, while President Donald Trump has no scheduled public events. The president appeared Sunday morning on Fox News Channel for an interview, during which he claimed that he is not taking medication and has “a protective glow” following his covid-19 diagnosis.
The interview comes one day before confirmation hearings for Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett kick off on Capitol Hill.
Trump is also expected to hold a campaign rally Monday in Florida, while Biden holds events in Toledo and Cincinnati.
Biden leads Trump 54 percent to 42 percent among likely voters nationally, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Biden will hold two events in Ohio on Monday, the same day that Trump will hold his first campaign rally since he announced his positive coronavirus diagnosis.
Biden will first deliver “Build Back Better” remarks in Toledo at 1:15 p.m., according to his campaign. He will then hold a voter mobilization event in Cincinnati at 5:45 p.m.
Trump, meanwhile, is expected to deliver remarks at an airport hangar in Sanford, Fla., at 7 p.m. Monday.
In a phone interview on Fox News Channel, Trump said he is no longer on any medication, is “in very good shape” and has a “protective glow” after testing positive for the coronavirus more than a week ago.
Trump told host Maria Bartiromo that he no longer has covid-19, even though the White House doctor has yet to reveal whether the president has tested negative since contracting the virus.
“Yes,” Trump said when asked whether he no longer has covid-19. “And not only that, it seems like I’m immune. So I can go way out of a basement. … So the president is in very good shape to fight the battles.”
Trump also dismissed concerns about Saturday’s event at the White House, arguing that the closest person to him was “probably a couple of hundred feet away.”
“Even yesterday, I knew I was free,” Trump said. “I beat this crazy, horrible China virus. … I passed the highest test, the highest standards.” He added: “The word ‘immunity’ means something; having a protective glow means something. … I’m not on any medication.”
In an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, panned the decision by the Commission on Presidential Debates to cancel the second debate between Trump and Biden.
The nonpartisan commission called off the debate after disagreement over the format. The commission had announced that the town hall-style debate would take place virtually amid uncertainty about Trump’s infectiousness following his recent diagnosis. But Trump said he would not participate in a virtual debate.
“Voters are frustrated by the corrupt debate commission, that they would cancel a second debate,” McDaniel said. “Americans are frustrated this election commission interfered with our ability to see these two candidates debate.”
She accused the commission of making the call “unilaterally” and without consulting the candidates, and she argued that it “interfered with the election.”
McDaniel said the scuttled debate would be a “negative for Biden.”
“I think this plays into this D.C. politician who has been there for 47 years who isn’t getting tough questions from the media,” she said.
In an earlier interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, defended Trump’s move to reject a virtual debate.
“I think a virtual debate is just a complete disaster,” she said, citing concerns about potential communication delays. “You can’t have a legitimate debate virtually.”
“Good for the president for calling it out,” Lara Trump added.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said on “Fox News Sunday” that it is “grotesque” that Biden has not said whether he would “pack” the Supreme Court.
Biden and Harris have faced growing pressure to answer whether they would do so if the Republican-led Senate confirms Barrett to the court.
“It’s grotesque that Vice President Biden won’t answer that really basic question,” Sasse said. “It isn’t just one branch of government. What they’re really talking about, or refusing to talk about, is the suicide bombing of two branches of government. What they’re talking about is blowing up the deliberative structure of the U.S. Senate by abolishing the filibuster.”
He added: “They’re talking about doing that to pack the Supreme Court.”
In a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., said the Senate Judiciary Committee should not move forward with confirmation hearings for Barrett given that two members recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We shouldn’t be having this hearing with two members of the committee infected with covid,” Coons said. “It’s rushed, it constitutes court-packing.”
Asked Thursday whether he would install additional justices on the Supreme Court, Biden said he will answer the question “when the election is over.”
“The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that rather than focusing on what’s happening now,” Biden said. “This election has begun. There’s never been a court appointment once the election has begun.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield repeatedly dodged the question.
She claimed that the Republican effort to confirm Barrett to the court ahead of the election is unconstitutional, without elaborating.
Bedingfield said Biden will not “play into Donald Trump’s game” by answering the policy question that Biden himself has called a “distraction.” He said Friday that voters “don’t deserve” to hear his opinion on court-packing ahead of the election.
Video: http://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/from-white-house-balcony-trump-says-he-sees-more-enthusiasm-than-in-2016/2020/10/10/2f8dd5f4-17a6-4f73-8188-5017badafaaa_video.html(The Washington Post)
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