President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeds investigates whether alleged Hunter Biden emails linked to foreign intelligence operation: report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden’s dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast to Trump in low-key town hall MORE appealed to U.S. seniors on Friday by announcing his administration̵
During a speech in Fort Myers, Fla., Trump announced that his administration would partner with CVS and Walgreens to immediately deliver a vaccine directly to nursing homes at no cost to their residents.
Trump delivered the remarks to a crowd of a few hundred people.
The president defended his administration’s response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 218,000 in America and disproportionately affected the elderly population and promised to have 100 million doses of a vaccine available before the end of the year or before. He said seniors would be “first in line for the vaccine.”
“I am deeply aware that America’s 54 million seniors have borne the heaviest burden of the China virus,” Trump told an audience at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater, referring to the coronavirus. “Many older Americans have been exposed to months of isolation, missing weddings, birthdays, graduations, church and family reunions.”
“My message to America’s seniors today is one of optimism, confidence and hope. Your sacrifice has not been in vain. The light after the need for the tunnel is near. We round off the turn, ”he continued.
Trump’s speech comes as he seeks to bolster his support among older Americans less than three weeks from election day, as polls show his support among the older population has eroded.
He has been widely disapproved of in his handling of the pandemic and has repeatedly focused on efforts to quickly deliver a vaccine through “Operation Warp Speed.”
The president initially insisted that a vaccine could be ready before the election, which was contrary to predictions from public health experts, but has recently adjusted his comments as potential vaccines continue to be tested.
The speech was billed as an official address, but quickly became political as he swung between advancing his own agenda and attacking the Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenFeds investigates whether alleged Hunter Biden emails linked to foreign intelligence operation: report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden’s dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast to Trump in low-key town hall MOREand warned eerily that America’s seniors are “threatened by a radical leftist movement.”
Trump argued that the Democratic ticket, if chosen, would delay the coronavirus vaccine and prolong the pandemic, and that they would adopt “socialist health plans” that would negatively impact the country’s elderly population.
The long speech felt at times like a rally speech when Trump complained about the Russia investigation and mentioned “Crooked Hillary” – a remark that invited to “lock her” from the audience. Trump also offered comments on the dueling town halls he and Biden attended the night before.
Trump’s speech in Fort Myers, which was paired with a campaign rally in Ocala later Friday, came on the heels of Biden’s own stop in Sunshine State earlier this week, where he also provided remarks aimed at older Americans.
Trump’s remarks Friday served as a rebuttal of Biden’s harsh rebuke of the president’s handling of the pandemic. Biden accused Trump of treating America’s seniors as “useful” and tore up his response to the pandemic.
“While you are wasting precious time with your loved ones, he has been stuck in a sand trap on one of his golf courses, and when he decides to lift a finger, it is not to help you,” Biden told a socially distant gathering in Florida Tuesday.
“While holding super-spreading parties in the White House while Republicans hug each other without worrying about the consequences, how many of you have not been able to hug your grandchildren in the last seven months?” He continued.
A recent CNN poll showed that Biden has a 21-point lead over Trump among voters over 65. Polls have shown that Trump’s support has particularly fallen among senior voters in Florida, a battlefield state considered crucial to his re-election.
Trump won voters over 65 by a 7-point margin during the 2016 election, according to CNN polls.
Seniors have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which is more likely to result in severe symptoms or death among older people who get it.
Earlier this week, the Trump campaign launched an eight-digit advertising campaign aimed at cutting off his support among America’s seniors nationwide.