Speaking to campaign aides on a conference call, Trump insisted he believes he's going to win, volunteering he didn't have that sense of confidence two weeks ago when he was hospitalized with COVID-19. One week since returning to the campaign trail, where his handling of the pandemic is a central issue to voters, Trump blasted his government's own scientists for their criticism of his performance.
"People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots," Trump said of Dr. Anthony Fauci, declaring the government's top infectious disease expert "a disaster." He suggested it would create a controversy to fire him. Fauci, in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, had said he was not surprised by Trump coming down with the virus after he held large events with no face coverings. Fauci also objected to the president's campaign using his words in a campaign ad.
"I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask," Fauci said of the president. Trump dialed in to his staffers Monday from Las Vegas, where he was on the third day of a campaign swing to the West. He was to hold rallies in Prescott and Tucson in Arizona before returning to the White House.
On Sunday night in Carson City, Nevada, Trump addressed thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering him and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard against the coronavirus, though cases in the state are on the rise, with more than 1,000 new infections reported Saturday. The Republican president, as he often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists. "He'll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression," Trump said.
In addition to public polling that indicates Biden has an edge, the former vice president enjoys another considerable advantage over Trump: money. Trump raked in USD 12 million during a fundraiser Sunday afternoon at the Newport Beach home of top GOP donor and tech mogul Palmer Luckey, which also featured a performance by the Beach Boys.
But over the past four months, Biden has raised over USD 1 billion, a massive amount of money that has eclipsed Trump's once-overwhelming cash advantage.