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Saturday September 18th, 2021 10:38AM

The Latest: First lady hits campaign trail for Trump

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

Melania Trump is set to make her first solo campaign-trail appearance of 2020 for President Donald Trump.

Trump’s reelection campaign says the first lady will appear at an event Tuesday in Atglen, Pennsylvania, that will be moderated by former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

The campaign says she will share the president’s agenda with Pennsylvanians.

The first lady has not appeared at one of the president’s campaign events since June 2019 in Orlando, Florida, where the president formally announced his bid for a second term.

She had been scheduled to headline campaign fundraisers back in March, but those events were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Mrs. Trump recently recovered from a bout with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

___

10:15 a.m.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is taking issue with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s criticism that the Trump administration has given up on trying to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden had seized on Meadows’ Sunday comments on CNN in which Meadows said “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Asked why, Meadows said it’s “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Those comments had produced criticism and at least one news headline saying: “White House gives up on trying to control virus spread.”

On Monday, Meadows tried to do some cleanup. He says, “The only person waving a white flag along with his white mask is Joe Biden."

Meadows says Trump won’t give up until all Americans are safe and the virus is defeated. He says, “We are going to defeat the virus. We are not going to control it. We will try to contain it as best we can.”

Meadows spoke to reporters at the White House on Monday before the Republican president travels to campaign events in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump plans to intensify an already breakneck travel schedule in the final full week of the presidential campaign, overlooking a surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and a fresh outbreak in his own White House.

Read more:

— House already won? Pelosi thinks so, and reaches for more

— Early vote total exceeds 2016; GOP chips at Dems’ advantage

— 2020 Watch: Is Biden remaking the Democratic coalition?

— AP FACT CHECK: Trump and his familiar falsehoods

— Pence to keep up travel despite contact with infected aides

— AP Explains: Trump pushes questions about Joe Biden’s son

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