PRESIDENT Donald Trump has tried to keep the focus on Democrat Joe Biden’s comments in the final presidential debate about supporting a “transition” away from oil in favour of renewable energy.

At a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, Trump revelled in Biden’s remarks, saying voters in Texas, Pennsylvania and other states would not like them.

He told supporters: “Even you don’t like it. You know why you don’t like it? Because you like your gasoline at $2 (£1.54) and less per gallon.”

Biden’s campaign released a statement hours after Thursday’s debate declaring that the Democratic nominee would phase out taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel companies, not the industry altogether.

Trump also played for supporters a video of various comments that Biden has made on fracking in a bid to make him look like he opposes it.

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Biden’s position is that he does not support new fracking on federal lands. Most fracking occurs on private land.

The president talked extensively about Thursday night’s debate in his Florida rallies.

He said Biden “looked like he made it. It looked like it was going to be OK. He got off the stage, going back to his basement and then they hit him with the energy question. They hit him with a thing called oil.”

Meanwhile, the US coronavirus caseload has reached record heights, with more than 83,000 infections reported in a single day.

This is the latest ominous sign of the disease’s grip on America, as states from Connecticut to the Rocky Mountain West reel under the surge.

The US death toll has grown to 223,995, according to the Covid-19 Dashboard published by Johns Hopkins University.

The total caseload across the States reported on the site Friday was 83,757 – topping the 77,362 cases reported on July 16.

The impact is being felt in every section of the country. Responses include a lockdown that started on Friday at the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s reservation in South Dakota, a plea by Florida health officials for a halt to children’s birthday parties, dire warnings from Utah’s governor, and an increasingly desperate situation at a hospital in northern Idaho, which is running out of space for patients and considering airlifts to Seattle or Portland, Oregon.

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Dr Robert Scoggins, a pulmonologist at the Kootenai Health hospital in Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, said: “We’ve essentially shut down an entire floor of our hospital. We’ve had to double rooms. We’ve bought more hospital beds. Our hospital is not built for a pandemic.”

In the southern Idaho city of Twin Falls, St Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Centre said it would no longer accept children because it is overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. Except for new-borns, all under the age of 18 will be sent 128 miles away in Boise.

Utah’s governor Gary Herbert proclaimed Friday to be “a record day for Utah – but not a good one” as Covid-19 cases reached an all-time high for the state.

He said: “Up until now, our hospitals have been able to provide good care to all Covid and non-Covid patients who need it.

“But today we stand on the brink. If Utahans do not take serious steps to limit group gatherings and wear masks, our healthcare providers will not have the ability to provide quality care for everyone who needs it.”