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Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

WorldOct 14, 2020 10:10PM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. President Trump holds a campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania

By Jeff Mason

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible.

Republican Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, while at a rally at the Des Moines, Iowa, airport on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democratic candidate Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election.

Biden announced via Twitter that his campaign raised $383 million in September, adding to a campaign warchest that is already dwarfing the Trump campaign. Biden has $432 million cash on hand, the campaign said.

Melania Trump said in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son.

“I don't even think he knew he had it," he said of Barron, "because they're young and their immune systems are strong and they fight it off. 99.9% and Barron is beautiful. And he’s free."

"Barron’s tested positive. Within, like, two seconds it was Barron is just fine now. He’s tested negative, right? Because it happens. People have it and it goes. Get the kids back to school, we’ve got to get the kids back to school.”

Trump has sought to convince states to reopen schools and return to normal, but teachers' unions have fought the move, arguing that teachers could be infected by their students. Funding for protective measures at schools has been caught up in a partisan fight in Washington.

Trump's Iowa stop is part of a barnstorming tour across states critical to deciding who will win the Nov. 3 election. He is trailing Biden in national and some battleground state opinion polls.

"Twenty days from today, we’re going to win this state," Trump said on a windy night in Des Moines, where many in the crowd were not wearing masks to guard against the virus that has killed nearly 216,000 Americans.

On Thursday he will be in North Carolina and Florida, on Friday he will campaign in Florida and Georgia and on Saturday he will speak in Michigan and Wisconsin. All of these are states he won in 2016 but are in danger of going to Biden this year, potentially denying Trump a second term.

He is expected to spend Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, and then swing through western states.

Trump repeated a vow to bring most U.S. troops home from Afghanistan soon as part of his bid to halt "endless wars." The promise has raised concerns within the Afghan government that a U.S. pullout could leave the country more vulnerable to the Taliban.

"We're almost finished in Afghanistan coming in," he said, adding that he wanted the troops reduced "down to a small number coming home by the end of the year - hopefully the end of the year, shortly thereafter."

Trump on Wednesday pulled into a statistical tie with Biden in hotly-contested Florida at 47% vs 49% with a credibility interval of four points, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed, though Biden had a 10 percentage point advantage nationally among likely voters.

On Thursday, Trump and Biden, who had been due to hold a second presidential debate, will instead take part in dueling televised town halls. NBC News said Trump's event in Miami would take place outdoors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Biden's ABC News event will take place in Philadelphia.

That Trump, who fell ill with the virus earlier this month, is traveling to Iowa so close to Election Day suggests his campaign is concerned about voter support there for his re-election. Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state by almost 10 percentage points in 2016, but opinion polls have shown Iowa to be competitive.

Nearly 15 million Americans have cast ballots, setting a record early pace, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida. Many are seeking to avoid the large crowds expected on Election Day.

In the last presidential election, some 1.4 million Americans had cast early votes as of Oct. 16, 2016.

Iowa has experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases, with hospitalizations at an all-time high. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has resisted any statewide containment measures such as a mandate to wear masks and urged Trump supporters on social media to turn out en masse for the president.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
 

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Comments (13)
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Oct 16, 2020 12:45AM ET
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Seems like the Democrats wantno education, it reminds younof the taliban bannon women and children
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Oct 16, 2020 12:45AM ET
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but those teachers and unions still want to get paid. and as usual they keep on asking for more and more and give us more and more indoctrinated students. Thank you very much for nothing American teachers and teachers unions.
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Oct 16, 2020 12:45AM ET
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But those teachers and unions still want to get paid. and as usual they keep on asking for more and more and give us more and more indoctrinated students. Thank you very much for nothing American teachers and teachers unions.
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Oct 15, 2020 1:15PM ET
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Barron tested positive for being the son of an adult film star. That should ensure Donny will continue to get the Evangelical vote....
Amy Carbob
Amy Carbob Oct 15, 2020 10:00AM ET
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His son goes to a small private school . What a joke
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Oct 15, 2020 10:00AM ET
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if you're so upset then why don't you want school choice?
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Oct 15, 2020 3:18AM ET
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Grim Reaper
YC Teng
YC Teng Oct 15, 2020 1:30AM ET
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What are you talking about Hickey.Trump running away from fact that coronavirus here to stay and we need to win this virus war together, non partisan manner.It is not able being Superman, telling people not to take precautionary measures to win this world between Man vs Virus.
Amy Carbob
Amy Carbob Oct 15, 2020 1:30AM ET
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Trump want to ****all americans and thin the herd . Only rich young caucasian people survive
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Oct 15, 2020 1:30AM ET
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are you kidding me? Thin the herd? What do you call aborting millions of black babies?!
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Oct 15, 2020 1:21AM ET
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Trump is one of the few leaders in the world not running from problems, but actually addressing it
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Oct 15, 2020 1:21AM ET
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I guess when you catch the *******you have no choice but to face it ?!
Michael Natan
Michael Natan Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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Biden has 0 chance of winning the election. Minorities will be voting for President Trump in record numbers. Hopefully whomever infiltrated the Democrat party and turned it into the Socialist/Communist party will be ousted. Clearly the Democrat party no longer exists.
Victor Menken
Victor Menken Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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All DC elite is voting for Trump as well
Mad Money
Mad Money Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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C.lowns
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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"Minorities will be voting for President Trump in record numbers."   -- I laughed so hard I spitted out my coffee, thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning.....
Robert Sharp
Robert Sharp Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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Tre Hsi you "spitted" out your coffee?
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Oct 14, 2020 10:40PM ET
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sure, laugh now, cry later.
Zia Barkatullah
Zia Barkatullah Oct 14, 2020 10:17PM ET
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Nobody ever wins by using the phrase “Do you really want 4 more years of this guy?” Maybe I don’t but that doesnt mean the other guy simply walks in.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Oct 14, 2020 10:03PM ET
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The polls the polls lol.
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Oct 14, 2020 9:38AM ET
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We are headed for a repeat of the 1984 election, Democrats are doing everything they can to create problems for the election
Jeremy Thornton
Jeremy Thornton Oct 14, 2020 9:38AM ET
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Oh please.. Republicans are doing everything they can to try and suppress the vote They know that the MAJORITY of the country doesn't want them. So they cheat any way that they can and then try and blame the Dems for doing it. Hypocrites! I wish they would all go away and truly make America great.
Mo Ce
Mo Ce Oct 14, 2020 9:38AM ET
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lol please explain what the eff you're saying
rob finch
rob finch Oct 14, 2020 6:19AM ET
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The polls must be wrong. The Biden/Harris ticket is the weakest ticket I have ever seen. Clearly conservatives don't talk to pollsters. I know I don't.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 14, 2020 6:19AM ET
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"The polls must be wrong."   --- hmmmm, must be so uncomfortable putting your head in the sand like that for the next 3 weeks......
Bill Riley
Bill Riley Oct 14, 2020 6:19AM ET
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Polls are not accurate Trump Supporters have been targeted by violence, Trump voters are telling people that they are voting for Biden to avoid harassment
Jeremy Thornton
Jeremy Thornton Oct 14, 2020 6:19AM ET
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Keep trying to spread lies Rob and Bill. Doesn't matter... Lock HIM up, Lock HIM up, Lock HIM up!!!!!
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Oct 14, 2020 6:19AM ET
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hillary first. we still need prison for Hillary! Lying, classified info spillage and violation of policies, The Russian collusion. Hillary and Joe for prison. Moscow Joe!
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Oct 14, 2020 5:45AM ET
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I'm excited that once Biden is in office the market will stabilize. The volatility that Trump has brought has made some people money, but his tweets can turn the market on a dime and strip you of your options. After several years of this, it seems obvious that Trump's primary motivation to be president was to manipulate markets with inside knowledge of which way the volatility go.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 14, 2020 5:45AM ET
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Goldman Sach agrees with you......https://www.ft.com/content/26126f76-8ec8-4023-b778-49fc0814c897..........https://fortune.com/2020/10/05/biden-win-2020-us-economy-goldman-sachs-predictions-blue-wave-democrats/..........................."A Democratic "blue wave," where the party takes control of both the White House and Congress, is becoming more likely, and that could juice the U.S. and global economy in early 2021, according to Goldman Sachs."
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Oct 14, 2020 5:45AM ET
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Biden is a fraud and won't ever be president.
Jim Robertson
Jim Robertson Oct 14, 2020 5:45AM ET
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the only thing Biden will stabilize is Hunters work with China.🤫
Jim Robertson
Jim Robertson Oct 14, 2020 5:45AM ET
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Tre Hsi goldmansachs is one decision from folding like a Hiuse of cards.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 14, 2020 4:33AM ET
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"That Trump is traveling to Iowa so close to Election Day is a worrisome sign for his re-election hopes. He beat Democrat Hillary Clinton there by almost 10 percentage points in 2016, but recent polls have shown the state to be competitive."   -- Trump campaign can scream "fake polls" all they like, but the fact that president orange has to show up in a state he won by 10% last time is a good indication of how bad things are going for him......
Brady Murray
Brady Murray Oct 14, 2020 4:33AM ET
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iowa was hilarious train wreck for dems. cant even count their own ballots. truly laughable.
Robert Sharp
Robert Sharp Oct 14, 2020 4:33AM ET
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And Biden is running around Pennsylvania...
 
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