CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Trump campaign proceeded Monday with the president mostly absent from the political stage and no clear picture of when that may change, as the election draws closer.
Even as he fought the virus, President Donald Trump tried to seize the spotlight with an early evening trip from the hospital to the White House which has recently become the center of a viral spread to his aides and allies.
However, the president, who is undergoing an experimental therapy doctors say is unavailable to most patients, tweeted the following message:
“Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he said.
The president later released a video with the same message.
Earlier, he had tweeted an assortment of all-caps campaign messages, urging people to vote on such things as religious liberty, law and order and the second amendment.
In a swing through Miami, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reacted to the president’s posts.
“Now that he’s busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: listen to the scientists,” said Biden.
Mr. Biden said 100,000 Americans had been infected with the virus since the president went to the hospital on Friday and this week he said the data show at least 5,000 more will die from it.
“I hope the president’s recovery is swift and successful, but our nation’s COVID crisis is far, far from over,” said Biden.
The president’s illness has put his handling of the pandemic back into the national conversation at a time when he needs to gain ground on his opponent. It has derailed his ambitious campaign schedule and called into question the second and third debates this month.
Speaking of debates, Vice President Mike Pence headed off to his encounter with his Democratic counterpart Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday night.
“I spoke to the president a little while back and he sounded great,” said Pence. “The stakes in this election have never been higher and never clearer. And I look forward to the opportunity to take our case to the American people for four more years of Mr. Trump in the White House.”
Sen. Harris is already in Salt Lake City, Utah where the debate will be held.
The vice-presidential debates, while interesting, have seldom been pivotal in a political campaign. But because of the president’s illness, there may be a bit more attention paid to the two people competing to be one heartbeat away from the top job.
Tune in to NewsNation on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ET)/ 7 p.m. (CT) for full live coverage of the debate.