President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he’d been “sailing to an easy election” victory before the coronavirus pandemic, despite trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the polls well before the public health crisis began.

Trump bragged to supporters at a campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that the 2020 election “was going to be so easy.”

“I probably would’ve not been here tonight,” the president continued. “I would’ve said, ‘No we don’t have to bother.’ Now we have to work against a guy that doesn’t know where he is. I can’t believe it.”

Trump also pondered whether China, where the coronavirus is believed to have originated, intentionally spread the contagion that has now killed more than 190,000 people in the U.S. He offered no evidence to back up his suggestion.

Check out Trump’s comments here:

😬 pic.twitter.com/Qk9EMlnVJo

— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) September 8, 2020

Trump has faced widespread criticism for his administration’s mishandling of the pandemic, which he has claimed deserves “very high marks.”

He has repeatedly downplayed the risks posed by COVID-19, touted unproven treatments and discouraged measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, such as wearing masks.

Critics on Twitter accused the president of showing contempt for his supporters with his latest comment about possibly not showing up for them:

His obvious contempt for his own supporters is staggering.

— Bret McGraw (@b1tmcgraw) September 9, 2020

Way to make your supporters feel valued … This #MAGA is what you mean to Trump, if he isn't desperate for your vote then he isn't interested in you

— Mark Gray (@rich29uk) September 8, 2020

I love when he just says the quiet parts out loud and they are so clueless that they cheer anyway.He's admitting he doesn't care about being there, doing anything for them, working hard for them, doesn't even want to be near them.Right over their heads….

— Sunshine Daydream (@karma_daydream) September 9, 2020

So….if I were winning, I wouldn’t be here pandering to you fools. But here I am so go vote for me.

— Trubble07 (@Trubble07) September 9, 2020 RELATED… Eric Trump's 'Awkward' Labor Day Attack On Biden Backfires 'Queen Of Lies': Huckabee Sanders Receives Stinging Reminder Of Own Dishonesty WaPost Editorial Spells Out A ‘Catastrophic’ Consequence Of 4 More Years Of Trump A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19? Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year? How can you manage your anxiety as coronavirus restrictions lift? Here’s the latest on how long COVID-19 antibodies last. How will COVID-19 change your office? Laid off and lost your health insurance? You have options. Everything you need to know about face masks right now. Find all our coronavirus coverage here. Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today. HuffPost testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks. HuffPost Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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