Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is blasting President Donald Trump for coming to Florida to fundraise instead of addressing the coronavirus pandemic. 

What You Need To Know

  • Biden says Trump should be focusing on helping people rather than fundraising.

  • The former VP hasn't visited Florida in person during the pandemic.

  • Two recent polls show a tight face for the Sunshine State.

The president is scheduled to arrive in Tampa shortly after 4 p.m. Friday for a private fundraiser. His visit comes a day after 253 Florida resident deaths due to COVID-19 were reported by the Florida Department of Health, the highest single-day death toll due to the virus in the state since the pandemic took hold in the U.S.

“While Floridians, including our frontline health care workers, continue to struggle every day with the far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives, Donald Trump comes to Florida with no apparent intention of addressing these issues and instead is there to raise money for his campaign with his Mar-a-Lago crowd,” Biden said in a written statement.

“Throughout this pandemic, Donald Trump has ignored the problem, blamed others, tried to shield the magnitude of the pandemic, rewarded his friends while American families are struggling, and actively tried to divide our country. This isn’t the behavior of a leader.” 

“As deaths continue to rise due to COVID-19, Donald Trump should be focused on sending critically needed supplies to American hospitals and frontline workers. Instead, he’s trying to distract Floridians from his failures while standing by his friends and continuing to express admiration for dictators like Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin — even after Putin placed bounties on American soldiers.

Floridians and their families deserve better — and they need better. As president, I will lead with the transparency, respect, and dignity that all Americans deserve,” Biden said.

This is the president’s first trip to Florida since he announced last week he was cancelling the Jacksonville portion of the Republican National Convention, surprising high-ranking Florida Republicans who were scrambling to host the event at the same the Sunshine State was becoming a global hotspot for the coronavirus. 

Biden has not made any trips to Florida since the pandemic began. Instead, he has held occasional virtual events in the state — most recently two weeks ago, when he spoke at the Florida Democratic Party’s “Leadership Blue” event.

While some polls have shown Biden building a robust lead against Trump in Florida, two polls released this week show a much closer race.

A CNBC/Change Research poll released on Wednesday had Biden leading Trump, 48 — 45 percent, while a Mason-Dixon survey released Thursday had Biden up by four points, 50 — 46 percent.