US President Donald Trump looks on during a Make America Great Again rally at Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump has boasted about his economic policy, warning of a "depression" should his Democratic rival for the White House win the November 3 election.
Trump made the remarks during a campaign rally in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, telling supporters he needed a second term to ensure a successful recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.
"This is an election between the Trump super recovery, which is happening right now, and a Biden depression," Trump told cheering supporters. "If you want open schools, an open economy and a safe, healthy, thriving country, vote for me."
His administration has been under harsh criticism over its mishandling of the virus, which has killed over 220,000 people in the United States and made millions of Americans jobless.
Trump was hospitalized for three nights after contracting the potentially deadly virus, but resumed a heavy schedule of campaign travel, including rallies where most of his supporters did not abide by social distancing guidelines or wear face masks.
His rally in Pennsylvania came despite rising cases of the highly contagious disease there and elsewhere in the United States with over 8,520,300 tested positive so far across the country.
Meanwhile, Biden, who was off the campaign trail on Tuesday to prepare for his upcoming debate with Trump, has criticized the Republican incumbent for failing to stem the infection and rushing to reopen the economy and belittling safety measures.
Opinion polls, which show Biden is holding a wide lead over Trump, also indicate more Americans trust the former vice president than Trump to lead on the health crisis.
However, Trump has gained ground on Biden in Pennsylvania, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday, leading by 49% to 45%, slightly narrower than a week earlier.
"If we win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing," Trump said in Erie.
The trip to the state comes ahead of Thursdayís second and final debate between Trump and Biden, which will be held in Nashville, Tennessee.
Their second presidential debate, which had originally been scheduled for last Thursday, was canceled after Trump refused to participate virtually following his COVID-19 diagnosis.
The first of three scheduled presidential debates was widely criticized for descending into an angry shouting match, with Trump frequently hectoring and interrupting, prompting Biden to tell him to "shut up" as the two fought over COVID-19, healthcare and the struggling economy.
Trumpís re-election coffers shrank in September
Trumpís re-election coffers shrank in September as he fell behind Biden in the campaignís money race, putting him at a disadvantage, according to a financial disclosure filed on Tuesday night with the Federal Election Commission.
The Trump campaign said it had about $63 million in the bank at the end of September after spending around $139 million that month. A month earlier, the campaign reported having $121 million in cash.
Yet, the president told his supporters in Erie that "I could be the king of all fund-raisers."
His campaign has aggressively pursued large contributors, and Trump said he simply did not want to "owe them."
His campaign and its shared committees with the Republican National Committee have raised $1.5 billion since the beginning of 2019, with the disclosures late Tuesday showing his main re-election committee had only a small slice remaining.
Now, entering October, Biden had nearly triple as much of the most flexible campaign dollars as Trump.
The Democrat candidateís campaign has yet to report its cash holdings at the end of September.
The campaign also said this month that together with the Democratic Party, it had $432 million in the bank, while Trump and his Republican Party had only $251 million in the bank, the presidentís campaign manager said in the same month.