A seemingly relaxed and optimistic President Trump showed up today in Fort Myers, Florida to speak for a private event called "Protecting America's Seniors". The 50-minute speech was policy-oriented, however, he did occasionally wander into issues of the day and campaign trail. Governor Ron DeSantis (R, Fla.) also joined him for the event that was attended by 400 people.
President Trump opened his speech with a lengthy discussion of his administration's efforts on behalf of seniors with regard to the Coronavirus pandemic. His heartfelt remarks recognized the devastating effects of the virus on the elderly population saying that he too is a senior and can "feel their anguish" due to the illness and loss of time with their friends and family. He went on to reassure the crowd that "[He is] moving heaven and earth to safeguard our Seniors from the China Virus, to deliver life-saving therapies in record time, and to distribute a SAFE and EFFECTIVE vaccine BEFORE the end of the year. Seniors will be the FIRST in Line for the vaccine and we will soon END the pandemic."
He listed the accomplishments of his administration regarding what he described as "the largest mobilization since World War II." That mobilization included "billions of dollars in funding and Personal Protective Equipment, and distributed rapid testing systems to all 15,400 nursing homes in the country to screen all residents and staff." He explained that there has been an "85 percent reduction in fatality rate since April." The crowd was enthusiastic in their support for this announcement.
President Trump also related how important it is to him to help all people "whether Republican or Democrat", calling for attention to "facts over fear, science over hysteria, hope over despair and the common good over partisan politics."
He then spoke about several hot campaign issues, touting the rapid decrease in unemployment to the current level of 7.8 percent. He commented that he "never thought [he] would be happy with 7.8 but they were predicting much higher." He also mentioned policies over which he has been sparring with former Vice President Biden such as fracking, court-packing, law and order, and the threat of socialism to our country.
Featuring healthcare in his remarks today, President Trump reassured the seniors that his "administration has fought to deliver greater security, affordability, fairness, and economic stability to our nation’s seniors. Under 8 years of the previous administration, premiums for medicare went up, including a 25 percent increase right here in Florida. Under my administration, we have lowered medicare advantage premiums by 34 percent nationwide and today it is the lowest level in 14 years." A Trump administration press release on September 24, announced the "historically low Medicare Advantage premiums and new payment model to make insulin affordable again for seniors."
The President warned the audience of the dangers of socialism, especially with regard to healthcare. "Socialism in healthcare would annihilate your Medicare-raiding Medicare to fund socialist healthcare." The result of single-payer healthcare would result in "rationing care, restricting access, denying coverage, slashing quality, extending wait times, and massively raising your taxes." He promised to never remove their access to Medicare or Social Security.
President Trump continued with a tribute to the military. He emphasized the importance of a strong military and honoring the "incredible legacy of.. the generation that defeated Fascism, triumphed over Communism, sent American astronauts to the moon."
He left the crowd with these final words, "Our seniors and our generations of Americans before you, did not pour out their heart and soul and blood and tears for this country only now to surrender our freedom our flag and our American way of life. For our nation, our seniors, and our beloved children and grandchildren, the best is yet to come."