Masks, birds and Italy dreams: This week on the US campaign trail

Campaign trailReuters
Campaign trail
With fewer than 40 days before the US election, the race for the White House is in high gear, giving the chance to select the strangest moments from a week on the campaign trail. On the chin or even on the neck, anti-virus masks are worn in all sorts of odd ways, but Joe Biden may have coined a new variation. On the campaign trail in Wisconsin, the Democratic contender delivered a speech wearing a mask - the problem was, it appeared to be on backwards.
Quick to take a jibeAP
Quick to take a jibe
The campaign of President Donald Trump was quick to leap on the slip on social media. The Republican president, who for a long time was reluctant to wear a mask in public, takes every opportunity to berate his opponent's mask-wearing, despite health authorities recommending it. "Did you ever see a man who likes a mask as much as him?" Trump said at a rally. "When he makes a speech he has it hanging down (from his ear), because, you know what, it gives him a feeling of security. You know what, if I was a psychiatrist...I'd say this guy has got some big issues."
COVID correlationAFP
COVID correlation
For Trump, the word "coronavirus," or "corona" in its abbreviated form, summons images of pasta, olive groves, basil and gondolas. "Corona sounds like a place in Italy, a beautiful place," said the president, during a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Florida, insisting instead that "it's the China virus. It's not the coronavirus." It was an unfortunate analogy however, since Italy is the second worst-hit country in Europe by the virus after Britain, with 35,781 deaths, according to an AFP toll on Friday.
Upending controversyAgencies
Upending controversy
The governor of rural South Dakota, an ally of Donald Trump, caused a stir on Wednesday when she put out a short video of herself standing in a corn field with a shotgun, hunting birds. After blasting away at a passing bird, Kristi Noem said, "This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota."

"Less Covid, more hunting," she added at the end of the clip, which has been viewed more than 4.7 million times. "Are you bonkers or just cruel?" retorted animal rights group the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), echoing widespread anger on social media. On the other hand, several Republican officials cheered her on.
Mask requirementReuters
Mask requirement
Noem is one of the few US governors not to have imposed any restrictions or mask requirements during the pandemic on her state, which has suffered a spike in infections, according to US health authorities.
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