Donald Trump sparked a crowd on the battlefield in Arizona by announcing CNN hosts “stupid miscreants” about the amount of coronavirus coverage on the cable network.

He opened his first two campaign events in the state Monday by declaring, as reported in a call with campaign staff earlier, that the American people have “finished” the virus – even as it spreads again in most states.

“They are tired of the epidemic, right? You turn on CNN. That’s all they cover,” he booed. “Covid, covid, pandemic. Covid, covid, covid. They are trying to convince people not to vote.”

“People don’t buy it, CNN, you idiot bastards,” while the president once again played down the virus – and got a ranting cheer.

Moments later, however, Trump took credit for what he and administration officials described as a mass push for private sector companies working on a vaccine to move faster.

Polls show that people are concerned about the virus that is still spreading, even if their behavior does not match what they say to the pollsters.

And the president appeared to utter more lies, saying his rallies are the largest ever of any American president. Others have organized large rallies in basketball yards, but Mr Trump for many years remained in outdoor packing places amid the pandemic.