President Trump is using his recovery from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to reinforce the message that the pandemic is receding and Americans should return to work — resisting entreaties to change his tone and behavior three weeks ahead of the presidential election.

Despite the outbreak at the White House that also infected the first lady, their son and nearly a dozen top aides, Trump and his allies continue to downplay the virus, arguing that the country is “turning the corner” and holding campaign events with thousands of supporters even as cases are increasing rapidly, especially in the Midwest.

Several advisers hoped Trump’s experience would move him to speak more empathetically about a virus that has killed at least 215,000 Americans and infected nearly 8 million. Instead, Trump has seemed further emboldened, flouting public health guidelines to convince voters that life is returning to normal, according to current and former administration officials.

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