President Trump accused Democrats of “using COVID to steal our election” after securing the Republican nomination for president on the first day of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
The president, after an in-person roll call vote where Republicans officially renominated him to represent the party on the ballot in the Nov. 3 presidential election--and locking in the GOP ticket for the battle against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris--took the stage and warned that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election.
“What they’re doing is using COVID to steal our election,” Trump said Monday from Charlotte, N.C., warning also against potential widespread fraud with regard to mail-in ballots for the election.
The Biden campaign, in a statement to Fox News during the president’s remarks, slammed his claim, and said he has no “coherent strategy” for handling the coronavirus pandemic.
“Last week, voters heard about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ commitment to stand up for all Americans and their vision for overcoming this moment of crisis that Donald Trump’s failed leadership has severely worsened—by building back better with historic investments in American competitiveness and our middle class,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Fox News Monday.
“What they will hear from Donald Trump this week are the last thing our country needs: more desperate, wild-eyed lies and toxic division in vain attempts to distract from his mismanagement,” Bates continued. “What they won’t hear is what American families have urgently needed and been forced to go without for over seven consecutive months: any coherent strategy for defeating the pandemic.”
But the president Monday touted his administration’s response to the novel coronavirus, while blaming China.
“We are fighting off this horrible thing that was delivered by China,” Trump said. “And I let them know, we’re never going to forget it.”
He added: “We’re going to do better economically than last year — but we can never forget the 175,000 people — which will go up.”
The president went on to tout his early efforts in banning travel from China and Europe in March.
“I put the ban on highly, heavily infected people coming to our nation from China that everyone told me not to do,” Trump said, while saying that those people have since “apologized.”
“I did it with Europe, too,” Trump said.
While the president did ban travel from Europe and China earlier this year, at this point, Americans are largely banned from visiting European countries, as the cases of coronavirus in the United States exceed 5 million, and continue to increase.
Trump also addressed treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus, namely, discussing convalescent plasma and remdesivir.
"You’ll soon see vaccines pouring out years ahead of what they would have been under a more traditional, let's use that term because it's nicer, a more traditional administration, where they would have taken years to come up with this stuff," Trump said. "We're coming up with it like nobody's ever seen before."
Meanwhile, during remarks, the president, as he has done for months, went on to slam the practice of universal mail-in ballots — a practice being pushed by Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The small election can’t even handle the mail-in vote,” Trump said, referring to primary elections for states like New Jersey and New York.
The president called voting by mail “very, very bad,” while defending absentee ballots.
"Bad things happened last time with the spying on our campaign ... and this time they're trying to do it with the whole post office scam. ... Be very careful and watch it very carefully," Trump said. "We have to win. This is the most important election in the history of our country.”
Despite the president’s concerns, though, not every state has pushed universal mail-in voting. At this point, at least nine states, mostly run by Democratic governors, are planning to send ballots to all registered voters in their states.
In separate remarks Monday, former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, in endorsing Joe Biden, ridiculed Trump’s mail-in ballot claims.
"What kind of President talks like that? What kind of American leader undermines confidence in the elections in his own country?” Flake said. “It's part of his strategy to hold power. This is extraordinarily dangerous to a free society, and it stands to inflict lasting damage to our democracy.”
Meanwhile, Trump went on to tout his administration’s success, saying they have “accomplished more” than any president before. Trump touted his efforts in securing the border, building the wall — a 2016 campaign promise — bringing back American manufacturing jobs, and “defeating the entire ISIS caliphate.”
“We appointed 300 new judges,” Trump said. “It’s an unheard of number.”
The president went on to warn that if Biden wins the election, the Supreme Court will be at risk.
“The radical left will demand that he appoints super radical left wild crazy judges,” Trump said. “This is so important, we have to win.”
Trump added: “Our country will never be a socialist country.”
The president went on to tout his efforts in the Black community, saying that he has done more for historically Black colleges and universities than any president before, touted his administration’s efforts with criminal justice reform and opportunity zones.
"Thank you everybody for this incredible support. Be very very careful," Trump said. "This is going to be, and I really believe this, this is the most important election in the history of our country."
He added: “Don’t let them take it away from you.”