Donald Trump back on the campaign trail and boasting of his Covid 'immunity'

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

With a flourish and a little jig on stage before 10,000 adoring supporters, the President sent an unmistakable message from Florida that he is back on the campaign trail.

You would never guess that polls indicate Donald Trump is heading towards a significant - potentially a crushing - loss. Or that a week ago he was emerging from a military hospital.

He appeared exuberant, theatrical, outrageous.

The President stepped off Air Force One and onto the stage in front of us. He was brandishing masks - but notably not wearing one.

Instead, he casually threw the masks into the crowd, in another defiant gesture that seemed to mock public health advice.

The President boasted that the immunity he has reportedly gained against Covid has given him an unfair advantage.

"I feel so powerful," he told supporters, "I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there. I'll kiss everyone in that audience. I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women - everybody."

Trump stands on stage with his supporters looking on. Credit: AP

Many Americans battling the pandemic may fail to see the humour.

Donald Trump's new promise is to tell voters that the medical treatment that helped him bounce back will soon be available to everyone. But that appears to be another wild claim - Regeneron is an experimental antibody cocktail that ordinary Americans could never access or afford.

What was most striking is that Trump is pitching himself as an insurgent candidate fighting the establishment. In other words, incredibly, despite four years as President, is deploying the same playbook as he did four years ago.

It is as if he hasn't been in office since 2017 and doesn't have any responsibility for the actions that have flowed for four tumultuous years.

But one thing is clear: He is running out of time. With the second debate cancelled, and just three weeks left before election day, Trump has rapidly diminishing opportunities to turn this race around.

The President left for Washington demanding that his advisers plan a rally for every day until the election - as if he can simply will his way to another improbable victory.

It's an absurdity in many ways to believe Trump can at this late stage change the central political dynamics of the election. But as we saw on the airport tarmac of a humid Florida night, it's also an utterly compelling attempt to save his presidency from humiliation.