Twenty-two states are currently seeing increases in cases, including in the Midwest, the Great Plains and parts of the South. The biggest spikes in new cases have been in North and South Dakota (scene of the massive Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August), Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma and Iowa— all of which voted for Trump in 2016. Among those states, Trump is particularly vulnerable in Iowa and Wisconsin in this year’s election.
Cases nationwide, which have generally been down from July, are now again ticking upward.
Critics have slammed Trump for turning the battle against the coronavirus into a partisan issue, and argue that there should be a national mobilization against a disease that has already killed more than 204,000 Americans.
Trump admitted he intentionally misled Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic, claiming he didn’t want to panic people with the truth. Health experts say his failed leadership is reflected in the U.S. toll of deaths and infections ― the highest in the world.
Trump continues to politicize the coronavirus.
COVID isn't a red state or blue state issue. 9 of the 10 states with the most infections per capita have Republican governors. This virus has impacted all Americans. pic.twitter.com/jhJ9hjK05F
— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) September 16, 2020
Trump insisted in a press conference earlier this month that the U.S. death toll is “very low ... if you take the blue states out” — without offering any evidence.
“The blue states had tremendous death rates. If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at,” Trump insisted. “We’re really at a very low level, but some of the states — they were blue states, and blue-state management.”
Meanwhile, Trump has been holding jam-packed political rallies throughout election season, with few attendees wearing face masks or observing social distancing — ignoring guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2020
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf last week slammed Trump for staging two rallies in his state without safety protocols to protect attendees’ health.
“It is gravely concerning that the president would insist on holding this event with blatant disregard for social distancing and masking requirements,” Wolf said in a statement. ”Americans should be very concerned that the president has put headlines and publicity above the health and safety of our families and communities.”
Check out this COVID infection rate map. Almost a perfect overlay with red state America as we head towards the final month of the campaign. https://t.co/3dAUcOmNkA
— Mike Madrid (@madrid_mike) September 27, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.