- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2020

President Trump told Wisconsin supporters on Saturday he brought back Big Ten football and that COVID-19 tallies are overblown, even as the state reels from one of the biggest coronavirus surges in the nation and places patients in field hospitals.

Mr. Trump, rallying in Waukesha, said the virus is a surmountable problem, pointing to a declining mortality rate and those — including his son, Barron — who fend off the virus.

“I had it, here I am. Here I am in Wisconsin,” Mr. Trump told supporters who waited in near-freezing temperatures for Mr. Trump.

The president said he received tremendous care after contracting the disease and he wants to get others the antibody “cocktail” he received under an emergency-use provision.

Yet 42 people in Wisconsin died from the virus on Friday and 25 more were reported dead on Saturday. The former would have been a state record, though 48 were reported dead on Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health Services.

The U.S. recorded over 85,000 cases on Friday, a record-high. The high baseline of transmission has some fearing a somber winter, when respiratory diseases tend to thrive.

While some of the case-reporting may be due to broader testing, over 900 people in the U.S. died from COVID-19 on Friday and hospital beds are filling up again.

Wisconsin is setting state records for hospitalizations from COVID-19 — over 1,200 as of Friday — and a field hospital at the state fairgrounds began admitting patients last week.

The state has the fourth-highest number of reported infections per capita, behind the Dakotas and Montana, according to a New York Times tracker.

The virus is weighing on Mr. Trump’s reelection bid, though he wants voters to know a vaccine is coming and treatments are better than ever.

Mr. Trump said his opponent, Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden, is trying to scare people by highlighting the perils of the virus.

“He talked about a dark winter,” Mr. Trump said. “How terrible was that?”

He also labeled Mr. Biden a 40-plus-year politician who hasn’t delivered for the American people, outsourced jobs and engaged in “ridiculous” foreign wars.

He repeatedly highlighted Mr. Biden’s comments at the final presidential debate, in which the Democratic nominee suggested he wanted to transition away from fossil fuels.

Mr. Trump said Florida and Pennsylvania are “looking great” and Iowa is looking “fantastic” as he tries to course a path through key Electoral College states amid national polls that show him trailing. He said the “fake news” is getting nervous because he’s feeling confident about winning key states, including Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes.

Mr. Trump won the state by less than 25,000 votes in 2016, shocking the Hillary Clinton campaign and making it a prime source of embarrassment for Democrats.

“We had such luck here four years,” Mr. Trump said, “and I have a feeling we’ll win by even more.”

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