Trump Says He May Resume Rallies Next Week Despite Coronavirus

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he may resume holding large campaign rallies as soon as next week, reviving the raucous events as he lags Democrat Joe Biden in polls and the coronavirus outbreak persists.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the rallies will be “starting up again soon,” after campaign officials said Monday they were looking to hold the first of the signature events since the U.S. began social-distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus in March.

“BIG DEMAND!” Trump tweeted over a re-post of a conservative political commentator who said it “seems reasonable” for the president to resume the events and suggested they could be held outdoors.

“Maybe next week!” the president added.

The campaign hasn’t determined where the first rally would be held, said the campaign officials, who asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations.

“Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump. The Great American Comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous,” Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager said in a statement. “You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that Sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of.”

Biden’s campaign has begun to resume events, but he limits the number of people in a room to practice social distancing and wears a mask outside his house. Trump has mocked the former vice president for wearing a mask and does not cover his face in public.

The decision to resume rallies, the lifeblood of Trump’s 2016 campaign, comes as he endures widespread criticism for his handling of the coronavirus and the protests over police brutality last week. Polls show Trump slumping against Biden both nationally and in key battleground states that the president won in 2016.

The coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 110,000 Americans and put the U.S. economy in recession, eviscerating what Trump had hoped would be the centerpiece of his re-election campaign. Also on Tuesday, he tweeted an apparent new campaign slogan in all-capital letters: “THE REAWAKENING OF AMERICA.”

He has also toyed with “Transition to Greatness” to describe the economic slump Americans are enduring before a presumed recovery later this year.

The president’s rallies are attended by thousands of cheering supporters. It gives Trump a platform to reach voters directly and also has been a treasure trove of voter data.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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