The US presidential election is only 11 days away and the two candidates are now holding their final rallies to sway crucial voters.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced each other during the final presidential debate this week, discussing topics such as climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and race in the US.
On Friday, Trump held a rally at a retirement community in Florida where very few people were seen wearing a face mask.
Opinion polls show Trump trailing Biden both nationally and, by a narrower margin, in several battleground states that will decide who sits in the White House on January 20, 2021.
But Trump has said those polls underestimated his support and he thinks he is actually leading.
“I think we’re leading in a lot of states you don’t know about,” he told reporters at the White House.
More than 53 million Americans have already voted, a record-setting early number, according to the University of Florida’s Elections Project.
Here are seven things we have learned overnight as the race for the White House gets tighter.
Trump supporters not wearing face masks at rally
The US president held a rally at The Villages, a retirement community where more than 120,000 elderly and retired people live, in Florida, on Friday.
But despite elderly people being more at risk of getting seriously ill if they catch Covid-19, almost nobody was wearing a face mask and there was little visible social distancing in place.
Some 12 residents of The Villages died on Thursday, with a further 34 positive tests reported as cases in the area continued to rise.
But while Biden has stuck to virtual or drive in events, with strict social distancing and mask-wearing rules, Trump has continued his campaign of packed, in-person rallies.
During the last presidential debate, Trump claimed that Americans are “learning to live with the virus”.
But Biden replied: “He says we’re learning to live with the virus. We’re learning to die with it.”
Trump supporter with ‘Proud Boys’ hat makes ‘white power gesture’
A Donald Trump supporter wearing a “Proud Boys” hat was seen making an OK gesture during a rally in Florida.
The gesture has been adopted by white supremacist groups.
The man was standing directly behind the President as he gave a 90-minute address at The Village retirement community in Florida.
He made the gesture prominently when President Trump said in his speech: “We have made America proud again.”
The OK gesture was originally linked to racism as part of a prank by users of the message board 4Chan.
Instead of standing for “OK”, it stands for “WP” – for “white power” or “white pride”.
‘A socialist must never be President – especially if female’
Donald Trump has said a socialist must never be US President – “especially a female socialist”.
The President singled out Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris for an attack during a rally speech in Florida both for her views and for being a woman.
He said: “We’re not going to have a socialist president. Especially a female socialist president.
“We’re not going to have it. We’re not going to put up with it. It’s not going to happen.”
The President said: “Kamala will not be your first female President. She will not be your first female president.
“It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We’re not supposed to have a socialist.”
US coronavirus death toll could pass 500,000 by February
The US coronavirus death toll could surpass 500,000 by February unless nearly all Americans wear face masks, researchers said on Friday.
Nationwide, a record number of cases were recorded on Friday with more than 84,000 registered.
The latest estimate by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reflects fears that cold winter weather will drive Americans indoors, where the virus is more likely to spread.
IHME director Chris Murray, who co-led the research, said: “We are heading into a very substantial fall/winter surge.”
US Health Secretary Alex Azar attributed the increase in cases nationwide to the behavior of individuals, saying household gatherings have become a “major vector of disease spread”.
Lizzo backs Joe Biden
The ‘Juice’ singer Lizzo appeared at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Biden and running mate Kamala Harris in Michigan.
She told people in Detroit: “Your vote is literally your political voice.”
Lizzo said Michigan would be “crucial” to the November 3 Presidential election.
“I don’t have to tell you guys that this is the most important election of our lifetime,” she told the crowd.
“Michigan is going to be so crucial, and how Michigan votes is going to be so crucial between trying to make America great again or finally bringing America together.”
Trump promises pandemic will end soon
President Trump promised the coronavirus pandemic will end soon as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Florida.
The pandemic, which has killed more than 223,000 people in the United States and cost millions more their jobs, has become the dominant issue of the campaign.
Joe Biden has repeatedly criticised Trump’s handling of the crisis, but the US President has defended the measures introduced by his Government and blamed China for the outbreak.
“He’s quit on America. He just wants us to grow numb,” Biden said during a speech in his home city of Wilmington, Delaware.
“I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m not going to shut down the country.
“I’m going to shut down the virus.”
Benjamin Netanyahu rejects calls to criticise Biden
Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed Trump’s calls to criticise Joe Biden during a White House photo call to mark the signing of a peace deal between Israel and Sudan.
The US president asked the Israeli Prime Minister if Biden could have secured such a deal.
Mr Trump asked: “Do you think ‘Sleepy Joe’ could have made this deal, Bibi? ‘Sleepy Joe’? Do you think he would have made this deal? Somehow I don’t think so.”
The Israeli leader did not criticise Biden, but replied: “Uh, well, Mr President, one thing I can tell you is that we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America.
“And we appreciate what you have done enormously.”