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Trump heads to Nevada on campaign trip to woo supporters, raise cash

WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Republican President Donald Trump on Saturday headed to Nevada, trying to drum up more support in a state where polls show Democratic rival Joe Biden leading, and to raise money for a campaign that is facing a possible cash crunch.

Trump is trailing Biden, a former vice president, in national polls and in Nevada, which the former real estate developer and reality television star lost narrowly to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump plans to attend campaign events in Nevada and Arizona during a three-day Western swing that will also include a stop in California on Monday to be briefed about devastating fires that are ravaging the West Coast.

The president is ramping up fundraising, too, amid concerns that his campaign is dealing with a cash shortage, leading it to pull back television advertising in crucial states.

A Republican official said some $18 million would be raised over the weekend through events in Washington and Nevada.

Trump will hold a rally in Reno on Saturday evening, a “Latinos for Trump” event and another rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, followed by a campaign event in Phoenix on Monday.

The president has increased the number of campaign rallies in recent weeks, holding them in airplane hangars or outdoors to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Thousands of supporters have been showing up, many of them without masks.

Biden has hammered Trump for failing to lay out a national strategy to combat the pandemic, which has killed more than 193,000 people in the United States.

The president, who credits his decision to block travel from China at the beginning of the year with saving lives, publicly played down the virus in the early months of 2020 and has pushed for a rapid re-opening of the economy after a lockdown in the spring.

“Nevadans don’t need more bluster from the president, and don’t need his reckless rallies that ignore the realities of COVID-19 and endanger public health,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday. “Nevada families need solutions — from containing the pandemic to building the economy back better to making quality health care more accessible to millions of Americans.” (Reporting by Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)

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