Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump and his Democratic White House challenger Joe Biden have held duelling campaign rallies in the critical election state of Florida.
“You hold the power. If Florida goes blue [Democratic], it’s over,” Mr Biden told supporters.
Celebrating soaring economic figures, Republican President Mr Trump said of his rival: “He’s going to lock you down.”
With just five days to go until election day on 3 November, Mr Biden has a solid lead nationally in opinion polls.
But the former Vice President’s advantage looks less assured in the battleground states like Florida, that will decide who ultimately wins the White House.
More than 81 million people have already voted across the US, 52 million of them by mail, setting the country on course for its highest electoral turnout rate in more than a century.
At Thursday’s rally in Tampa, President Donald Trump revelled in a new federal projection that the US economy had expanded at an unprecedented 33.1% annual rate in the most recent quarter, following a record 31% contraction in the previous three months during the coronavirus crash.
Florida is a must-win for Donald Trump and a key opinion poll average shows him just 1.4 points behind his challenger Joe Biden, which amounts to a statistical dead heat.
At a 100-minute outdoor rally, the US President told thousands of people, many of them crowded together without facemasks: “Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing [coronavirus] lockdowns. He’s going to lock you down.”
Mr Trump noted: “Look, we were compared to Europe. Germany is doing so well, France is doing so well, everyone’s doing so well.’ No, they’re not doing well.”