President Donald Trump visited the US-Mexico border on Tuesday and tried to praise his new wall by stopping undocumented immigrants and the coronavirus.
Under the scorching heat, Trump briefly paused to inspect the new parts of the concrete and steel structure, and the president and other officials spent some time signing on the wall.
Trump said: “It stopped COVID, it stopped everything.”
After his weekend rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump hoped to resume his campaign momentum, which was originally a sign of the country’s reopening. However, the low turnout in the rally has made people pay more attention to Trump’s visit to Arizona, which is twice the number of battlefield states and coronavirus surge areas in 2020.
By visiting the border, Trump tried to change the topic to one that he thought would help electrify his base in November.
Trump announced in a meeting with Arizona Republican Governor Dug Ducey and Federal Border Patrol officials: “Our borders have never been as safe as they are now.”
Later that day, Trump addressed a group of young Republicans at a large church in Phoenix. The “Trump Student” event held at the Church of Dreams is part of a special project called “Turning Point Action”, which is hosted by Trump ally Charlie Kirk.
Campaign officials emphasized that this kind of rally will still be the main content of the president’s re-election strategy, but allowing them in some states may require a little change. Discussions about placing them in more modest locations or outdoors are ongoing, perhaps in aircraft hangars and amphitheatres, or in smaller cities far from demonstrators.
Trump’s visit to the Phoenix Church took place on the same day that Vice President Mike Pence initiated a faith-centered visit, highlighting religious conservatives—especially white evangelicals, as well as those leaning to the right Catholics-continue to occupy a central position in the presidential base.
However, even if Trump’s campaign publicly attracted religious voters, there are signs that the president’s support base might be weakened and the president cannot afford to lose the forthcoming election.
Trump focused on building his long-term commitment boundary wall, which is also to gain support among his most loyal supporters.
His government has promised to build 450 miles (724 kilometers) by the end of this year, but this seems unlikely. Since April 2019, the government has awarded more than $6.1 billion in construction contracts for various projects along the border. It also removed the procurement rules, which critics say make the process of awarding millions of dollars in secret and opaque.
Throughout the journey, the COVID-19 pandemic enveloped Trump. Since late May, Arizona has become one of the most active hotspots for the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, and there have been disturbing trends in multiple benchmark tests, including the percentage of tests that prove positive for the virus, which is the highest in the United States.
The state reported a new record of nearly 3,600 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as Arizona continues to set records for COVID-19 hospitalization, intensive care, and ventilator numbers. Arizona has a total of at least 58,179 people affected in the pandemic. More than 42 deaths were reported on Tuesday, increasing the death toll to 1,384.