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Virus Surge Shadows Trump and Biden Campaign Events After Final Debate

“You heard a couple of horns,” he added. “Honk, honk. It’s the weirdest thing.”

From there, Mr. Trump was off to Circleville, Ohio, outside Columbus, and then Waukesha, Wis., as he sought to rally backers in suburban areas where polls show his support has slipped. On Sunday, he will fly to New Hampshire, the lone state on his weekend itinerary that he did not carry in 2016 and part of a hopscotching schedule reminiscent of his intense final push four years ago.

But the virus’s surge has ensured that even Mr. Trump’s well-attended rallies can be a political liability, a reminder to voters fearful of the pandemic of his regular disregard for expert and public health advice. Mr. Trump used his own contracting of the disease, his weekend of hospitalization and subsequent recovery as a pitch to minimize the severity of a pandemic that has cost more than 224,000 lives in the United States out of more than eight million cases.

“By the way, I had it, here I am,” he said.

Mr. Trump began his day in Florida, where he joined the more than 56 million Americans who have already voted. He cast his ballot in person at the Palm Beach County Main Library, declaring, “I voted for a guy named Trump.”

Afterward, he also continued to baselessly question the integrity of the election and in particular mail-in ballots. “It’s the only way we can lose,” Mr. Trump said, citing the size of crowds at his rallies. Most polls show Mr. Trump behind by a sizable margin nationally and in many of the critical battleground states.

Mr. Biden’s full day in Pennsylvania was a sign of the state’s crucial importance in his Electoral College calculations. After his rally in Bucks County — which Hillary Clinton won by less than a percentage point in 2016 — he flew to Luzerne County in the blue-collar northeastern part of the state, where he held a drive-in rally that included a performance by the singer Jon Bon Jovi. Luzerne County is near Mr. Biden’s hometown, Scranton, and it is a historically Democratic county that Mr. Trump flipped by a wide margin in 2016.

Still, the day had its prickly moments. In a local television interview, Mr. Biden interjected when a reporter began to ask a question about “controversy” and his son Hunter Biden. “There is no controversy about my son,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s all a lie. It’s a flat lie, because the president has nothing else to run on.”

Along with Mr. Biden’s appearances this weekend, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, holding a get-out-the vote event in Pittsburgh and a drive-in rally with the state’s lieutenant governor, John Fetterman. And in another sign of Pennsylvania’s potential as the 2020 tipping point, the Biden campaign dispatched former President Barack Obama there this past week for his first in-person campaign trip of the general election. Mr. Obama campaigned in Florida on Saturday.




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