A tale of two Florida rallies: Trump fans go maskless and ignore social distancing while Biden supporters stay apart in their cars as event is rained off halfway through

  • Donald Trump and Joe Biden hosted dueling campaign rallies in battleground state Florida Thursday
  • Trump spoke at a raucous rally in Tampa before hundreds of fans who went maskless and ignored social distancing as they packed into the Raymond James Stadium in sweltering heat
  • Biden first spoke at a drive-in rally in Coconut Creek where more than 100 cars filled with supporters cheered
  • He later hosted a second socially distanced rally in Tampa at 6.30pm, but the event was cut short around an hour in as heavy rainfall descended and the former Vice President was whisked off stage 
  • The stakes are high in Florida, which went red for Trump in 2016, as it has 29 electoral votes

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden hosted dueling campaign rallies in Florida on Thursday in the homestretch to Election Day and there was a stark contrast between the two, as MAGA fans flouted masks and packed into stands while Biden’s supporters practiced social distancing by cheering from their cars.

Trump spoke at a raucous, crammed rally in Tampa, Florida on Thursday afternoon before a sea of hundreds of fans who shouted and cheered in close proximity, ignoring the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic nominee Biden also touched down in Florida Thursday stopping first at a drive-in rally at Broward College in Coconut Creek where more than 100 cars filled with fans cheered and practiced social distancing. 

His crowd was considerably smaller than Trump’s, but all were masked up and kept a conscious distance from one another to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. 

Biden later hosted a second socially distanced rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at 6.30pm. But the event was cut short around an hour in after a brief shower turned in a torrential downpour, prompting the former Vice President’s team to whisk him off from the stage. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leaves the stage during a downpour after concluding his remarks at a drive-in campaign rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds on October 29

Biden hosted two socially distanced rallies in Florida on Thursday. The second, in Tampa, was cut short after an hour due to heavy rain

The campaign said around 285 cars were in attendance for the rally, which prematurely concluded at 7:30pm

A supporter stands in the rain as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during Thursday evening’s drive-in rally

During the his second rally of the day, in Tampa, Biden renewed his criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, and also decried his efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act

‘You hold the power. If Florida goes blue, it’s over,’ Biden told supporters in Tampa on Thursday

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden hosted dueling campaign rallies in Florida on Thursday in the homestretch to Election Day and there was a stark contrast between the two as MAGA fans flouted masks and packed into stands while Biden’s supporters practiced social distancing by cheering from their cars. Trump and First Lady Melania arriving at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday

More than 100 cars filled with fans cheered and practiced social distancing at a drive-in rally for Biden at Broward College in Coconut Creek

It’s not clear how many people attended the Trump rally but the campaign said over 15,000 tickets had been requested


A tale of two rallies: The stands were packed in Tampa, Florida with fans waving signs and flashing thumbs up signs to the president. Trump has ignored implementing coronavirus precautions at his rallies, despite catching the virus himself this month. By comparison, Biden’s rally was significantly smaller, hosting a fraction of the fans with supporters waving and cheering from their parked cars


Trump arrived to the stadium and cheered on his fans, notably not wearing a mask. Biden, on the other hand, arrived to the rally wearing a mask and all attendees at his event were seen wearing protective face coverings


The MAGA rally in Tampa was held in the packed Raymond James Stadium where there were no rules enforcing masks or social distancing. The crowd was easily triple the number of attendees Biden had, but Trump has brushed aside coronavirus guidelines in hosting his events, while Biden has designed his to maintain social distance. Biden’s event was hosted in the parking lot at Broward College in Coconut Creek, Florida above where cars were spaced out and everyone was urged to social distance and wear masks

Biden has held fewer in-person rallies and events and for months opted for virtual gatherings during the initial spike of the virus.

It’s not clear how many people attended the Trump rally but the campaign said over 15,000 tickets had been requested. 

Several attendees at Trump’s rally passed out due the intense heat that reached the 90s and was heightened by crowds where people stood shoulder-to-shoulder. A firetruck was seen blasting water in the crowd to cool people off. 

The stakes are high in Florida and the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront as the state has seen a massive increase in cases since reopening one month ago.

With its 29 electoral votes, the state is a major asset in next Tuesday’s election. 

For Trump, winning Florida is crucial to winning the electoral college. He cinched Florida by a narrow margin of 1.2 percentage points in 2016, beating Hillary Clinton. 

More than 7million Floridians have already voted early either in person or by mail, rapidly approaching the 9.6million votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.

According to recent CNN polls, Biden leads in the polls at 49 percent with Trump trailing behind at 45 percent. 

In Trump’s speech he once again accused his Democratic opponent of trying to shut down the country as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in dozens of states, including Florida. 

‘Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing lockdowns, he’s going to lock you down,’ Trump said.

Trump promised his fans that America would come back from the coronavirus crisis, which has already killed more than 228,000 people.

‘You know the bottom line, though? You’re gonna get better,’ he said.  


Many Trump supporters chose to not wear protective face masks or practice social distancing at the Tampa MAGA rally. Meanwhile, Biden supporters arrived for the Coconut Creek rally in Florida wearing masks and were stationed in their own cars to avoid crowding around and potentially spreading COVID-19


What social distancing? It’s not clear how many people attended the Trump rally but the campaign said over 15,000 tickets had been requested. Guests were seen shoulder-to-shoulder, while at Biden’s rally everyone was forced to maintain a clear distance of one another. Speaking on the virus Biden said: ‘I am not going to shut down the economy. I am not going to shut down the country. But I am going to shut down the virus’


Front row seats: Trump’s rally saw fans packed together in close proximity while Biden’s crowd was dispersed with fans sitting on top of their vehicles

Biden has held fewer in-person rallies and events and for months opted for virtual gatherings during the initial spike of the virus

Trump and First Lady Melania put on a united front both speaking at the Thursday campaign stop in Tampa

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks briefly with members of the media before boarding his plane at Tampa International Airport

During the his second rally of the day, in Tampa, Biden renewed his criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, and also decried his efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act

Supporters of Biden are seen in the above image wearing Biden/Harris facemasks as they listen to the former VP speak

The drive-in rally featured multiple speakers before the Democratic presidential candidate arrived

Biden was forced to wrap his speech up early at a drive-in rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds In Tampa after a brief shower turned into a torrential downpour

Florida has the third most cases of COVID-19 in the country reporting 4,198 additional infections Thursday bringing the state’s total to 794,624.

Thursday also saw 77 new virus-related deaths bringing the resident death toll to 16,648. 

At the rally Trump once again accused Biden and his family of being criminals, leading his fans to chant ‘four more years’ and ‘lock him up’. 

In Biden’s speech he denigrated Trump’s handling of the virus saying: ‘Donald Trump has waved the white flag, abandoned our families, and surrendered to this virus.’

He pledged to listen to science and medical experts in addressing the virus, stressing he’s not going to shut down the country as Trump claims.

‘I am not going to shut down the economy. I am not going to shut down the country. But I am going to shut down the virus,’ he said.

During the his second rally of the day, in Tampa, Biden renewed his criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, and also decried his efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

He also went after the president for holding an earlier rally in Tampa without following social distancing guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus.

Biden said Trump ‘just had a superspreader event here again,’ but added, ‘he’s spreading more than just the virus — he’s spreading division and discord.’ 

‘We need a president who’s going to bring us together, not pull us apart,’ he continued. ‘The heart and soul of this country is at stake.’

The drive-in rally featured multiple speakers before the Democratic presidential candidate arrived. 

The campaign said around 285 cars were in attendance for the rally.

‘You hold the power.’ Biden told supporters Thursday. ‘If Florida goes blue, it’s over.’


Trump fans came out in full force in Tampa. This supporter painted his car to say ‘Patriots 4 Trump’ (left) and held a slew of MAGA flags. At Biden’s rally fans decked out their cars with ‘Florida for Biden’ posters and flags (right)

Trump and Melania shared a smile on stage before he shared his speech before a packed crowd

Multiple attendees at the MAGA rally passed out due to the intense heat that reached the 90s and a firetruck was on site spraying water to cool fans off

Biden arrived to the rally with his granddaughter Natalie Biden on Thursday 

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