Trump downplays pandemic at campaign rally, goes after Dr. Fauci

At a rally in Arizona the president said Americans are "tired" of COVID-19 and lashed out about the new debate rules that will include muting opponents microphones.
7:17 | 10/20/20

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Transcript for Trump downplays pandemic at campaign rally, goes after Dr. Fauci
fdr drive south bound right at 79th street. Minor delays back up through the 90s. And then we have this collision in the queens on central grand parkway, right near the L.I.E. Street cleaning rules are in effect. Here is a look at the forecast now with Sam. We've got downpours hitting the eastern end of Long Island, suffolk county in particular. We are looking at temperatures around 7:00 A.M. A lot of us have low clouds, mist and drizzle right now. We will go through the morning right now but we brighten up a little bit between the sunshine with clouds this afternoon. Repeat everything tomorrow. Wednesday and Thursday, we start to pull this out. That's a look at the seven-day. Not bad. Not bad at all. I'm Shirleen allicot. I'm Michelle Charlesworth in for Ken Rosato. We are going to have more local news, weather, and traffic coming up in 25 minutes. "Good morning America" takes it from here. Enjoy. Have a great day. Good morning, America. Final push. Just two weeks to go until the election. President trump in the battleground state of Arizona overnight downplaying the pandemic arguing Americans are tired of hearing about covid. The president blasts Dr. Fauci calling the nation's top infectious disease doctor a disaster as he prepares for the final debate against Joe Biden. The major rule change announced overnight about muting the candidate's microphones. The clock ticking to a deal for a relief package to help millions. House speaker Nancy Pelosi saying this is the last chance before the election. Where negotiations stand at this hour as more than 12 million unemployed Americans struggle to make ends meet. Uncontrollable spread. As covid hospitalizations rise in 41 states doctors and nurses This is by far the highest number of patients that we've had since the pandemic began. And breaking news in the race for the vaccine, the controversial new challenge trials just announced this morning. Fire and ice. Firefighters swarm by red smoke and strong winds as they battle a record-breaking wildfire outbreak in Colorado. And the October snow now covering the midwest. Ginger tracking the latest. Jeff bridges' health battle. Overnight the actor revealing he's been diagnosed with lymphoma. What he's saying about his condition and his message for fans this morning. Lucky to be alive. The couple surviving this terrifying crash careening into a canal saved by hero good samaritans. The gas station worker and off-duty officer who raced in to help. Signed, sealed delivered The new alert about ordering packages during the pandemic as experts predict record online shopping, when to order those gifts by to beat the ship-a-thon. Can you never go wrong starting the morning with a little Stevie wonder, good morning, America. Great to be with you on this Tuesday morning. T-minus two weeks until the election. That's right. We are already seeing record turnout at the polls. In Florida where early voting began on Monday, more than 350,000 people cast their ballots in person this. Morning, polls are opening in another swing state, Wisconsin. At least 31 million Americans have already voted. That's more than 20% of the total vote in 2016 and overnight new rules were put in place for Thursday's final debate. President trump downplayed the pandemic in a rally and Cecilia Vega starts us off. Good morning, Cecilia. Reporter: Hey, George, good morning. President trump is on an aggressive swing through the key battleground states hoping for a last-minute surge and as you said he is downplaying the virus. He is attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, but the big question this morning is whether this will appeal to anyone outside of his most loyal base. As the country faces a third coronavirus wave, president trump on the trail saying voters are tire fd hearing about the pandemic. People are pandemic'd out. You know that? Reporter: The president on a swing through the battleground of Arizona where cases are on the rise. The packed crowd mostly without masks. With polls showing a majority of Americans unhappy with his handling of the virus, president trump now laser focused on a new target, the nation's leading infectious disease expert. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots. Reporter: On a call with his campaign team on the attack against Dr. Anthony Fauci. Every time he goes on television there's always a bomb, but there is a bigger bomb if you fire him. Reporter: When it comes to the virus voters overwhelmingly trust Dr. Fauci over the president. We are really, you know, going through a time that's disturbingly anti-science in certain segments of our society. That's very troublesome to me. Reporter: Fauci telling "60 minutes" the attacks have led to death threats. Have there been death threats against you and your family. Yes. All of you, not just -- Harassment against the rest of the family. Reporter: Even his allies coming to his defense, Lamar Alexander tweeting if more Americans paid attention to his advice we'd have fewer cases of covid-19 and it would be safe story go back to school and back to work and out to eat. Joe Biden off the campaign trail preparing for Thursday's debate saying the president attacking him for listening to scientists isn't actually an attack, it's, quote, a badge of honor. And this morning, with just two days to go until that final face-off, the debate commission announcing a major change to the debate stage. As one candidate gives his two-minute answer, the other's microphone will be muted. But both microphones will be left on during follow-up the change coming after that first debate debacle. You made a point, let him answer. Reporter: President trump repeatedly interrupting and ignoring the rules. Now the debate commission hopes these change also make sure that doesn't happen this time around, of course, president trump refused to attend that second debate after the format was changed to online when he contracted covid. The trump campaign says president trump is committed to attending the last debate, though the president says he sees these rule changes as the campaign is trying to push to get the topic switched to a foreign policy debate but the debate commission says it is up to the moderators, not to the campaign to choose the topics. And the campaign had agreed to that weeks and months ago. We also, Cecilia, have a in poll out from one of his must wins states that shows a toss-up. Reporter: Take a look. 49% Biden, 48% for trump buoyed by evangelical and rural this should likely concern the trump team. This is a state herowly won back in 2016 and the president has been out on the campaign trail saying he's surprised to see he's doing so poorly some states he won in 2016. Huge early vote there. Complete coverage of the debate on Thursday. I'm anchoring with our political team stag at 8 eastern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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