“Donald Trump’s failure to fight the coronavirus with the same focus that he uses to troll his enemies on Twitter has cost us lives and is putting hope for an economic recovery at risk,” he said. “Just like he couldn’t wish Covid away in March, just like he couldn’t tweet it away in April, he can’t ignore it away in June.”
Hundreds of miles to the west, local officials were preparing for a very different kind of campaign event.
On Monday, Mr. Trump bragged that almost one million people had requested tickets to his rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday. The venue there holds slightly more than 19,000. Mr. Trump says an additional 40,000 would watch from screens set up at the city’s convention center.
Tulsa officials, however, have warned that the rally could help spread the coronavirus (more on that below). “Let me be clear, anyone planning to attend a large-scale gathering will face an increased risk of contracting Covid-19,” said Bruce Dart, the city’s top health official.
Mr. Biden had some thoughts on Mr. Trump’s rally, saying that the president is putting people’s health at risk and pointing out that the campaign is requiring attendees to waive their right to sue if they get sick.
Mr. Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, has been attacking Mr. Biden for keeping a light schedule.
“This is obviously a tactic to help him avoid errors and embarrassing, lost trains of thought, while also conveniently preventing the press corps from asking him any questions in person,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.
Both camps are convinced of the correctness of their approach. Mr. Trump believes his path to victory runs through his base, a group more skeptical of the dangers of the virus. Even as his polling numbers have sunk, he has pledged that the country will not close again if cases of the virus spike. Vice President Mike Pence has told Americans that there will be no second wave, ignoring states where cases are surging now.