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In the battlefields of the Midwest, the virus has encountered another concern: the economy

“I’m not as scared of Covid as I am of a bad economy,” said Ish Soltay, 51, of Avon Lake, a suburb west of Cleveland. His riding, Lorain, who was once a reliably Democrat, opted for Hillary Clinton by 131 votes in 2016. On Tuesday, he appeared to leap more to the right, turning back to Mr. Trump, according to the preliminary vote tally.

Mr Soltay, a retired intensive care nurse who now sells portable oxygen machines, said he had been personally affected by the coronavirus, which infected his son and slashed his paychecks in medical sales. But his support for the president was stronger now than it was four years ago, he said, and on the eve of the election, Mr Soltay took a day off to make his point known. seen during an appearance by Mr Biden in Cleveland, two Trump flags fluttering on the roof of his car.

“In early March, April, May, I would say corona was a bigger problem for me,” said Mr Soltay, who said he locked himself in his house in the spring, leaving to go to grocery shopping and changing clothes afterwards. “When I was voting, if I had to rank them, the economy was one for me.”

In the Midwest, coronavirus cases have risen dangerously and hospitals have almost reached capacity in recent days, leaving voters with even more reason to send a message about the pandemic. Even as coronavirus cases increased in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, closely related issues – the economy and closures – were at the fore.

Twelve Midwestern states added more cases in the seven-day period ending Tuesday than in any other week of the pandemic, a sign of the rapidly evolving situation in the center of the country as infections and hospitalizations continue to rise to climb.

The situation is particularly volatile in Wisconsin, which for weeks has been adding cases to one of the highest rates in the country. More than 35,000 infections have been identified in the past week, the highest number in the seven-day pandemic. As of Wednesday morning, seven of the 20 US metropolitan areas with the most cases per capita in recent days were in Wisconsin.

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