With the US election less than a month away, the whirlwind of American politics continues on.
It was less than two weeks ago that President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus, was sent to the hospital, given supplemental oxygen and experimental drugs, tested negative, and is now back on the campaign trail.
On Monday evening, Trump gave a speech to a crowd of thousands in Sanford, Florida – his first campaign rally since his diagnosis. Holding a rally while cases are rising and out of control across the country – especially in Florida – is only one of the most ridiculous things about the speech.
In what many social media users called a 'superspreader event' and an 'unhinged' speech, here are some of the rally's most outrageous moments:
The giant crowds were largely maskless
The first thing we notice about the rally is that Trump himself was not wearing a mask as he tossed out masks to thousands of tightly-packed supporters – most without protective masks – as he repeatedly talked about his recovery from the coronavirus.
Trump says he's “immune”
In perhaps the weirdest moment, Trump kicked off by saying: “I went through it now. They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful.”
Good to know.
He then said he would “kiss everyone” in the audience
Just after his remarks about feeling “powerful”, Trump said outside an airport hangar in Sanford, "I'll walk in there and kiss everyone."
"I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women," Trump added, "I'll give you a big, fat kiss." Yikes! Please don't.
He promised to get Americans "whatever the hell they gave me" for coronavirus
"It's great to be back," Trump said as the crowd chanted, "U-S-A!" He then promised to get Americans "whatever the hell they gave me" while hospitalised with his coronavirus infection.
Trump was given supplemental oxygen, experimental drugs and high quality care that most Americans do not have access too.
Even so, the virus was not a major focus of his remarks, as he tried to downplay it as usual.
Trump then mocked immigrants
“Come on in everybody! If you’re a murderer, if you’re a rapist, if you’re very very sick..” he said, in one of his classic attempts to dehumanise refugees and immigrants trying to enter the US.
He told supporters that lockdown measures were damaging to the economy and too drastic.
“It’s risky, but you gotta get out,” he told supporters, who chanted: “We love you.”
Trump said that "nobody acted fast like I did.”
Trump went on to congratulate himself for what is considered one of – if not the worst – responses to the pandemic around the world.
“The bottom line is we saved millions of lives. When this first came out if we didn't do a good job they predicted 2.2 million people would die. We're at 210,000," he said.
Later, Trump went back to his usual talking points, harping on Nobel Prize nominations, discussing ‘the wall’ and ‘fake news’.
The governor of Florida gave people high-fives then rubbed his nose (not wearing his mask)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who lifted all restrictions on the state’s restaurants and bars two weeks ago, gave high fives to several members of the crowd before rubbing his nose, violating both social distancing guidelines and advice to not touch your face with unwashed hands.
He then claiming the wall will be finished “in a few months”
“We’re doing 10 miles a day!” he shouted, adding that “Mexico is paying for it” (which has been widely debunked).
He can’t stop talking about his “Nobel Prize nomination”
Trump (again) told a story about how he and the First Lady turned on the “fake news” expecting to see coverage of his Nobel nominations, but were not happy to see coverage of ‘the weather’ instead.
While this is his favourite topic of conversation, any national lawmaker can nominate anyone for doing anything.
In this case, a far-right Norwegian lawmaker nominated the president for his efforts in the Middle East.
And finished off by saying that 'crazy' Bernie Sanders would ‘open the floodgates’ to ‘radical Islamic terrorism’
Trump plans to have many more rallies in the short space of time before the election, so expect more of this nonsense.
But perhaps there’s a bright side? The president seems to know he needs to rile up his base as his approval is way down, and he is trailing Biden a hefty margin.