Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani held a rally for President Donald Trump in Philadelphia on Monday.
Giuliani, who serves as both an attorney and advisor to Trump, was joined by former Pennsylvania congressman Lou Barletta at the "Italian Americans for Trump" event. About 75 Trump supporters packed into the campaign's Northeast Philadelphia office, some wearing masks with the words "Save Columbus" on them.
The event was relocated from the original venue, the 2300 Arena, after the venue's owners discovered the event was a Trump rally.
Giuliani made a number of false or exaggerated statements, including a statement that "people don't die" of COVID-19 anymore. Around 700 people died of COVID-19 every day in October in the United States and case numbers are rising again in Pennsylvania. He erroneously claimed that COVID-19 measures were implemented just to frighten people.
Pennsylvania Democrats lambasted Giuliani's event as a distraction from the pandemic and other issues.
“Mayor Giuliani and Congressman Barletta’s event is just another sad attempt by the Trump campaign to distract from their terrible economy and ongoing war on our health care,” State Sen. Sharif Street wrote in a statement.
Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is also visiting Philadelphia this week. Following the cancelation of the Oct. 15 second presidential debate, Biden is scheduled to participate in a town hall hosted by ABC News on Thursday. The next and final in-person presidential debate is slated for Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee — less than two weeks before the November 3rd election.
In mid-September, Trump held a town hall in Philadelphia, also hosted by ABC News. Hundreds of protesters — including members of the Penn community — surrounded the venue in opposition to Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
FiveThirtyEight polls indicate Pennsylvania could be the most influential state in this year’s upcoming presidential election. A Pennsylvania win for Trump would project an 84% chance of reelection while a Pennsylvania win for Biden would project a 96% chance of victory for the Democratic nominee.
According to RealClearPolitics, as of October 5 Biden leads in the state by 7.1 points, with Trump consistently trailing in Pennsylvania.