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US election: Biden says Florida seniors ‘expendable’ for Trump

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has criticised Donald Trump’s handling of Covid-19, while courting elderly voters in the key battleground state of Florida.

He told them that the president saw seniors, who have been more at risk in the pandemic, as “expendable”.

There are sharp policy differences between the two candidates on Covid-19.

In Pennsylvania, Mr Trump told thousands of supporters he felt like “Superman” after his Covid treatment.

The president tested positive for the virus on 1 October, spent three nights in hospital and was cleared by doctors to return to the campaign trail at the weekend, holding his first rally in Florida on Monday.

After he pulled out of a presidential debate scheduled for this Thursday, Mr Trump now plans to hold a town hall event in Miami on Thursday night. The event will directly compete with Mr Biden’s town hall in Philadelphia, which is scheduled for the same time and was announced last week.

Battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania are crucial for gathering the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidential election, which is not determined by a simple count of votes nationwide.

Opinion polls suggest Mr Biden has a 10-point advantage over Mr Trump nationally, but his lead in some key states is narrower. In Florida, the Democrat is 3.7 percentage points ahead, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.

Mr Trump narrowly won Florida in 2016 in a result buoyed by senior voters. But the latest polls suggest a shift away from the Republican among them this time around.

What did Biden say in Florida?

The Democratic candidate spoke to a group of people at a community centre for seniors in southern Florida, with social distancing measures in place.

The event was in stark contrast to the president’s mass rally on Monday in Florida.

Mr Biden accused the president of dismissing the threat that coronavirus posed to senior citizens.

“You’re expendable, you’re forgettable, you’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors. That’s how he sees you,” said Mr Biden.

The “only senior Donald Trump seems to care about” is himself, he added.

Mr Biden also criticised the president for holding “super-spreader parties with Republicans hugging each other without concern of the consequences”, while senior citizens couldn’t see their grandchildren. A recent White House event for the Supreme Court nominee led to several attendees testing positive for Covid. –